World Martini Day

Last Saturday was World Martini Day, an independently organised global celebration of the Martini, and a chance for everyone to celebrate this wonderful cocktail. To help you celebrate we share some information about the Martini and some classic cocktail recipes.

What is a martini?

Essentially, the martini is a mix of London dry gin or vodka and French dry vermouth, stirred over ice, strained and poured into an ice-cold cocktail glass. Lemon zest or a good-quality green olive is the usual garnish. There are plenty of twists on this classic cocktail, as you will see below.

How do you make a martini?

There are several variations of the classic martini, and also many modern variations.

Dirty Martini: ‘Dirty’ will come with a little olive brine stirred into the gin and vermouth, while a Gibson is made with a silverskin onion and Plymouth gin.

Wet martini: Wet means there is a higher percentage of vermouth – typically in a 3:1 gin to vermouth ratio.

Which gin do you use to make a martini?

London dry gin is the classic gin used for a martini, but other favourites are Plymouth or Sipsmith London dry gin with Noilly Prat, served straight-up with a lemon twist. It’s simple and classic.

Espresso martini

The ultimate coffee cocktail, this recipe blends fresh espresso, vodka and coffee liqueur for a sweet, velvety drink that still packs a punch.

100g caster sugar
50ml vodka
2 tbsp coffee liqueur
2 tbsp, hot espresso
3 coffee beans to garnish


Put the sugar and 100ml water in a pan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Cool. This will make more than you need but will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

Put a handful of ice into a cocktail shaker followed by the vodka, coffee liqueur, hot espresso and 25ml of the sugar syrup. Shake vigorously for at least 15-30 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini or coupe glass and garnish with the coffee beans before serving.

French martini

For a fruity finish on a classic martini, try this simple blend of raspberry liqueur, pineapple juice and vodka. Garnish with a single raspberry.

50ml vodka
15ml raspberry liqueur
40ml pineapple juice
1 raspberry, to garnish

Put everything in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well (this creates a foamy layer on top of the drink). Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a raspberry.

Dirty Martini

300ml gin
60ml dry vermouth
25ml olive brine, (add more if you prefer a saltier martini)
to garnish green olives

Pour the gin, vermouth and brine into a mixing jug and stir. Decant into a sterilised flip top bottle and keep chilled in the fridge. Garnish with green olives before serving.