How to Order a Martini

Whenever you hear someone ordering a martini, doesn’t it sound like they are speaking in a foreign language? There is so much nuance and specification and customization to it, it really could be a science. You know what you heard was English, but you really have no clue what they just said to the bartender or waitstaff.  Today I’m going to teach you how to order a martini like a pro.

What the heck is with all this lingo?  Well, to a first timer that may seem like a confusing order, but if you know what you’re doing there’s a great pleasure in ordering a fine martini. Follow along below and pretty soon you’ll be ordering a martini like a pro and impressing others with your fancy order.

ordering a martini like a man

Tips for Ordering a Martini

There are a few things to know to order this drink like a boss. First you need to know what a martini is. A martini may sound like a complicated cocktail, but it really just comes down to gin, vermouth and an olive. You can check out Drizly for all these things if you want to try this cocktail at home.

A bartender makes this cocktail by pouring gin and vermouth over ice and stirring it gently. After that, they strain the mixture and pour it into a martini glass. Finish it off with an olive and there you have it – a classic, simple martini.

There’s nothing more to it than that really, and if you want to keep things simple the first time you order one you could just ask for a Bombay Sapphire Martini, with an olive, stirred. They’ll know what you’re talking about and you won’t make a fool of yourself.

But what do dirty, dry, shaken and stirred mean? There’s lingo to it and I’ll let you know what they all mean. First there is the difference between a wet and dry martini. This is simply a factor of how much vermouth is in it. If a martini is dry, it has less vermouth in it. Bone dry means just a drop or two. Vice versa for a wet martini. The vermouth (a fortified wine with flavored herbs) is a sweet taste, so the wetter your cocktail is the sweeter it is. Between wet and dry, there is also the option of nothing, which gets you the standard five parts gin to one part vermouth.

Now what is a dirty martini? Dirty means that olive juice or brine has been added to it. When the olive brine is added, it gives the cocktail a cloudy, hazy look and adds a salty zest to the drink. However, this also masks the taste of the alcohol, and is generally thought of as a rookie or introduction martini.

Furthermore, there are the options of shaken and stirred. You know that 007 likes his “shaken, not stirred”, but what does that mean for the cocktail? If you ask for it shaken, the mixture will be put in a cocktail shaker and shaken and then strained into a martini glass. You can probably guess that stirred means that the mixture is stirred and then strained, and not put in a shaker. The rule of thumb is that a shaken martini should be for anything with juice or brine added (a dirty martini), while a more standard martini should be stirred.

Also, there are the garnishes. You can add an olive, which is self explanatory. You can also ask for it with a twist, which means you’ll get a thin twisted lemon peel added as a garnish. This is all up to personal taste. Personally I think adding a twist is akin to having a little umbrella in a girly drink, so I’d skip it.

Follow these simple definitions and try them out to find what you like, and soon you’ll be ordering like a pro!

How to Order a Martini
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Dave Schmidt

Dave Schmidt is an e-commerce entrepreneur specializing in business-to-consumer products, social media, affiliate marketing and SEO. He currently resides in Fort Lauderdale. When not working, Dave enjoys spending time with nephew and dogs, trying new beers, anything involving music, and soaking up the Florida sun in between trips home to his native Minnesota.

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