The 7 Tastiest (and Simplest) Martinis
Gone are the days of neon-colored, Jolly Rancher-flavored apple-tinis (sorry, sugar fiends). The classic martini is back in a big way, and top bartenders are returning it to its rightful place in the cocktail canon. Here are some of our favorite martinis to try at home.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This martini is a classic for a reason.
Recipe courtesy Charlotte Voisey, spirits portfolio ambassador, William Grant & Sons USA
2½ ounces Hendrick’s Gin
¼–½ ounce dry vermouth (to taste)
Lemon peel, for garnish
Combine the gin and vermouth in a chilled mixing glass over ice. Stir well with a cocktail spoon, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Quickly fold the lemon peel over the drink to express the oils. Garnish with the peel.
California kiwis are available from October through May, so now’s the time to enjoy this seasonal, fresh cocktail. It’s the perfect reminder that winter has an end, even if it doesn’t seem that way.
Recipe courtesy Two Rooms Bar & Grill, Tokyo
½ kiwi, peeled
⅓ ounce green apple syrup
1¼ ounce 42Below Kiwi Vodka
¾ ounce lychee juice
Muddle kiwi in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add apple syrup, vodka and lychee juice. Shake well. Pour into a chilled martini glass.
A riff on the Pimm’s Cup, this variation shakes up the English classic by adding a little Southern soul. “We decided to use Bourbon to make it richer in style, but still garnish with cucumber for the refreshing quality,” says Suzan Boyce. “We had to…highlight the South, especially during Derby time.”
Recipe courtesy Suzan Boyce, beverage director, Boyce Restaurant Concepts, Huntsville, AL
6 mint leaves
2 cucumber slices, divided
½ ounce brown sugar syrup (equal parts boiling water and brown sugar)
1½ ounces Old Forester Bourbon
Splash of water
Muddle the mint, 1 cucumber slice and syrup in a shaker. Add ice, Bourbon and water, and shake. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with the remaining cucumber slice.
This recipe for the Vesper Martini was created from the pages of Ian Fleming’s classic James Bond 1953 thriller, Casino Royale.
Recipe courtesy of Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel, New York City
3 ounces Gordon’s Gin
1 ounce vodka
½ ounce Lillet Blanc
Lemon peel, for garnish
Add all ingredients except garnish into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until ice-cold. Garnish with a large, thin slice of lemon peel.
Invented during Prohibition to mask the flavors of low-quality bathtub gin, the Bee’s Knees, which employs honey’s sweet, earthy notes, quickly became a classic. The addition of orange juice lifts the drink with a fuller citrus kiss.
3 ounces Plymouth Gin
1 teaspoon honey
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
¾ ounce fresh orange juice
1 orange slice, for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker ⅔ filled with ice and add all ingredients, except garnish. Shake for approximately 15 seconds, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange slice.
Hop on the bitter bandwagon with this tipple, which uses sweetly herbal Campari with bright grapefruit juice.
Recipe courtesy Hotel Astor, South Beach, Miami
4 ounces Ketel One vodka
1 ounce Campari
2 ounces grapefruit juice
Pour all ingredients into a shaker ⅔ filled with ice. Shake well, and strain into a very large, chilled cocktail glass.
Enjoy a drink with Academy Award-winning actor, Robert De Niro. (Well, sort of.) Mix up his take on the classic martini with this boozy upgrade.
4 ounces vodka
1 ounce dry vermouth
Lemon twist, for garnish
Combine vodka and vermouth in a cocktail shaker over ice. Stir well, and strain into a martini glass. Pour back into the shaker, and strain again into the glass. Garnish with the lemon twist.
- 1The Classic Martini
- 2Fresh Kiwi Martini
- 3The Derby Martini
- 4The Vesper Martini
- 5The Bee’s Knees Martini
- 6The Astor Martini
- 7The De Niro Martini