How Do I Make A Martini With Vodka

How Do I Make A Martini With Vodka

Do you want to make the perfect martini with vodka but aren't quite sure where to start? Look no further! In this guide, we'll walk you through the entire process of crafting the ultimate vodka martini, so you can create a drink that will truly impress your friends. So, are you ready to shake, stir, and sip your way to vodka martini mastery? Let's dive in!

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What is a Vodka Martini?

A vodka martini is a classic cocktail that features vodka as the main spirit, rather than the traditional gin. The drink also includes dry vermouth, and it's typically garnished with an olive or a twist of lemon peel. If you fancy a dirty vodka martini, add a splash of olive brine to the mix.

Choosing Your Vodka

As the star of the show, choosing the right vodka is essential for making an exceptional martini. The vodka should be of high quality and boast a smooth, clean flavor. Some popular choices for vodka martinis include:

  • Absolut Elyx
  • Belvedere
  • Grey Goose
  • Ketel One

Of course, any preferred vodka brand will work, as long as the quality is up to par.

Selecting Your Vermouth

While the vodka takes center stage in a vodka martini, the vermouth plays an essential supporting role. The amount and type of vermouth you select will greatly impact the overall flavor of your drink, so it's crucial to choose wisely. Dry vermouth is the most common choice for vodka martinis, with options like Dolin, Noilly Prat, and Martini & Rossi being popular among enthusiasts.

Measuring Vermouth

Some drink aficionados argue that less vermouth leads to a better martini, while others enjoy a more generous splash. It's really all about personal preference, so don't be afraid to experiment until you find your preferred martini style.

Garnishing Your Martini

When it comes to garnishing your vodka martini, you have two classic options: olives or a lemon twist. Whichever you choose, make sure you're using the freshest, most enticing garnishes possible to truly make your martini special.

Mixing Your Vodka Martini

Finally, it's time to start mixing! There's some debate surrounding the best technique for whipping up a vodka martini, with many insisting that stirring is superior to shaking. Let's break down both methods:


Stirring your vodka martini allows for a more evenly mixed drink that showcases the smoothness of the vodka. To stir:

  1. Add vodka and vermouth, in desired proportions, to a mixing glass.
  2. Fill the glass with ice, then stir for 15-20 seconds until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  4. Garnish with your choice of olive or lemon twist.


While some may argue that shaking "bruises" the vodka, others claim it creates a colder, livelier martini. To shake:

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, vodka, and vermouth.
  2. Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds until well-chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish as desired.

How Do I Make A Martini With Vodka Example:

Imagine you've chosen to make your vodka martini with Belvedere vodka and Dolin dry vermouth. You've decided to stir your martini and garnish it with a single plump olive. Here's the process:

  1. Combine 2.5 oz. Belvedere vodka and 0.5 oz. Dolin dry vermouth in a mixing glass.
  2. Add ice to the mixing glass and stir for 15-20 seconds until well-chilled.
  3. Strain the drink into a chilled martini glass, making sure no ice chips remain.
  4. Garnish with a single olive on a toothpick, then serve and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the classic vodka martini recipe?

The classic vodka martini, also known as a Vodkatini, typically includes a mixture of vodka and vermouth, garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. The conventional ratio is 6 parts vodka to 1 part dry vermouth. Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, stir well and strain into a chilled martini glass.

How much vodka do I need for one martini?

For a standard martini, you will typically need about 3 ounces (90ml) of vodka. This can be adjust based on personal taste and the size of the glass.

Should I use ice when making a vodka martini?

Yes, ice is crucial when preparing a vodka martini. It chills the vodka and vermouth, ensuring your drink is served cold, and it also helps to dilute the mixture slightly, smoothing out the flavors.

Is shaking or stirring better for a vodka martini?

This often comes down to personal preference. Stirring is the traditional method and usually recommended because it yields a clearer drink. Shaking can introduce air bubbles and fragments of ice, making the martini slightly cloudy and a bit more diluted.

What kind of vermouth should I use?

Dry vermouth is standard for a vodka martini. It has a subtle flavor that complements the vodka without overpowering it. Avoid sweet vermouth, as it is better suited for other cocktails like the Manhattan.

How can I garnish a vodka martini?

The most common garnishes for a vodka martini are a skewer of one or more olives or a lemon twist. Some alternative garnishes include cocktail onions (for a Gibson), a caperberry, or even a sprig of fresh herbs.

Can I make a dirty vodka martini?

Yes, a dirty vodka martini includes a splash of olive brine or olive juice. The amount you add can vary depending on how 'dirty' you prefer your martini.

What does "bruising the vodka" mean?

Bruising the vodka refers to the belief that shaking a martini too vigorously can cause the alcohol to become aerated or overly-diluted, potentially affecting the taste and texture of the drink. Not all experts agree that this is a concern, but it is often cited as a reason to stir rather than shake.

Can I use flavored vodka for a vodka martini?

Yes, using flavored vodka can put a twist on the traditional martini. Popular options include citrus, pepper, and even vanilla flavored vodkas. Keep in mind to adjust the garnish to complement the flavor of the vodka.

What is the difference between a dry martini and a wet martini?

A dry martini means that less vermouth is used compared to a wet martini which has a higher proportion of vermouth to vodka. A very dry martini might have just a rinse of vermouth, or only a few drops.

Can I make a martini without vermouth?

While vermouth is a traditional ingredient in a martini, you can make a martini without it, which is sometimes referred to as a "naked martini." Essentially, it's chilled vodka served straight up. However, purists may argue that it's not a true martini without vermouth.

What are the best olives for a vodka martini?

The best olives for a vodka martini are typically green olives that have been pitted. Many prefer olives that have been stuffed with pimento, blue cheese, almonds, or even garlic. Look for higher-quality, brine-cured olives for the best flavor.

How do I make a lemon twist?

To make a lemon twist, use a vegetable peeler or a knife to cut a strip of lemon peel, being careful to avoid the bitter white pith. Twist the strip over the drink to spritz the essential oils onto the surface, and then drop it into the glass or hang it on the rim as a garnish.

Should vodka martini be served with or without ice?

A vodka martini is traditionally served without ice in a chilled glass. The purpose of the ice is simply to cool the drink while mixing, before it is strained into the serving glass.

How do I properly chill a martini glass?

There are a few methods to chill a martini glass. One is to fill the glass with ice water and let it sit while you prepare your martini. Alternatively, you can place the glass in the freezer for at least 15 minutes prior to serving your drink.

What does it mean to have a martini "on the rocks"?

A martini "on the rocks" is served over ice cubes in a lowball glass, rather than strained into a chilled martini glass. This is less common for martinis, as it dilutes the drink more significantly over time.

Can I make a martini with low-alcohol or non-alcoholic vermouth?

Yes, you can make a lower-alcohol martini by using a vermouth with a lower alcohol content, or even use a non-alcoholic vermouth to create a martini that's almost completely spirit-free.

How long should I stir a vodka martini?

A vodka martini should be stirred smoothly for about 30 to 60 seconds. This is generally enough time to chill and properly dilute the drink without making it too watery.

What’s the best type of ice to use when mixing a martini?

The best type of ice to use is large, clear ice cubes or spheres which melt more slowly and dilute your martini at a slower rate. This preserves the strength and flavor profile of your cocktail.

Can I make a batch of vodka martinis ahead of time?

Yes, you can mix a batch of vodka martinis ahead of time, but do not add the ice until it's time to serve, so that you avoid dilution. Keep the batch in the refrigerator to maintain its chill.

Is there such a thing as an 'extra dry' vodka martini?

Yes, an 'extra dry' vodka martini significantly reduces the amount of vermouth or skips it altogether. When ordering, you may even hear the phrase, "just wave the bottle of vermouth over the glass," indicating you want very little to no vermouth.

What type of vodka is best for making a martini?

The best type of vodka for making a martini is a high-quality, distilled vodka that is smooth with a clean taste. A premium or craft vodka often yields a superior martini, though taste preferences will vary.

How do I store vermouth for future use?

After opening, vermouth should be stored in the refrigerator to maintain its flavor and freshness. It's best to use it within a few months of opening, as it will gradually oxidize and degrade over time.

Can I add bitters to a vodka martini?

While not traditional, you can add a couple of dashes of bitters to a vodka martini for additional flavor complexity. Orange or aromatic bitters can complement the cocktail well without overwhelming the drink.

Now that you've learned how to make the perfect vodka martini, why not show off your newfound skills and treat yourself and your friends to a classy and delicious cocktail? Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep experimenting until you've mastered the ideal martini to suit your taste buds. We hope you enjoyed this guide, and feel free to explore other fantastic vodka tips and tricks brought to you by Vodka Doctors. Don't forget to share this article with your fellow martini enthusiasts, and happy mixing!

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Ferdynand Scheuerman

Ferdynand is Vodka importer, exporter and specialist with over 30 years of experience in the Vodka industry. He knows the subtle in's & out's of Vodka. Spending most of his time discovering new brands, new blends and new cocktails.

About Ferdynand Scheuerman

Ferdynand is Vodka importer, exporter and specialist with over 30 years of experience in the Vodka industry. He knows the subtle in's & out's of Vodka. Spending most of his time discovering new brands, new blends and new cocktails.

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