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A classic Vodka Martini for us, please (with Best Recipes)
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A classic Vodka Martini for us, please (with Best Recipes)

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A synonymous with 007’s Vodka Martini order is the infamous “shaken not stirred” line that we all know – though we admit it’s shaken or stirred for us, we are not that picky as long as we’re enjoying our favourite cocktail.

But how much do you know about the history of this classic drink? The Vodka Martini has been a popular drink for a century, but where did it originate from? And what is the original recipe? In this article, we uncover all of this and even give you a few variations on the original recipe to try.

Vodka Martini
History of the Vodka Martini

All you need to know about the Vodka Martini

How did the Martini originate?

You can tell an iconic drink when it stands the test of prohibition to become one of the most famous drinks in history. Created in the 1890s, the Marguerite, as it was known then, was found recorded in the book “Stuarts Fancy Drinks and How to Mix Them”. At the time, the recipe suggested two parts Plymouth dry gin to one part dry vermouth, with a dash of orange bitters for good measure.

What qualifies a Martini?

Mix gin and dry vermouth, decorate it with an olive, and you have a Martini, according to the nit-picking definition of this famous alcoholic drink made only of two main ingredients.

What does Vodka Martini “Dirty” mean?

It means a touch of olive brine is added; that's why it is called “Dirty.” A Dirty Martini is always garnished with an olive.

What is a Martini with a Twist?

It simply means decorated with a twist of lemon peel instead of an olive.

How much alcohol is in a Martini?

A classic Martini, made by the purist definition, has approximately 28.7% alcohol.

What are the three different types of Martini?

A Martini connoisseur should know these three basic types. A Dirty Martini (as we already explained, with a small amount of olive that adds some murkiness), a Gibson Martini (garnished with a pearl onion instead of a classic olive), and a Vesper Martini ( first described in the famous Ian Fleming novel “Casino Royale“. So: shaken, not stirred. A Bond aficionado surely doesn't need to be explained why it was named “Vesper“…)

What is the difference between a Dry and a Wet Martini?

The difference is the quantity of vermouth mixed with the gin (or vodka). Dry Martini requires less vermouth. A Classic old-school Martini is considered a very wet one. Lately, Martini has become much drier.

What's the difference between a Martini and a Vodka Martini?

The only difference is in what you mix the vermouth with. For a classic Martini, mix it with Gin. As the name implies, you need vodka for a Vodka Martini.

Vodka Martini
Preparation of a Vodka Martini

What is the History of The Vodka Martini?

Post the prohibition, Americans began to prefer lighter spirits, and vodka started to increase in popularity. It wasn’t long before a bartender swapped the gin in a Martini for vodka. This began the trend for Vodka Martinis.

Why is Vodka Martini a James Bond’s choice?

The connection between the Martini and James Bond already occurred in the first James Bond novel which was released in 1953. Since then, it has become part of a well-known catchphrase of Bond, uttered in almost every film… Shaken, not stirred. With a sophisticated spokesperson such as 007 himself, it’s no wonder the Vodka Martini is seen to have a certain air of masculinity to it.

What is the correct way to mix Vodka Martini, shake, or stir?

All experts agree that during the Vodka Martini preparation, the vermouth, and vodka mix should be stirred, not shaken. Sorry, Mr. Bond, but shaking makes the cocktail cloudy and dilutes it because of the melting ice. These are not admissible in a perfect Vodka Martini. So, only stir.

Should Vodka Martini be served cold?

Yes. Ice-cold, if possible. A chilled glass is a plus.

What is an Espresso Martini?

To answer this essential question the NOBLE&STYLE way, we’ve dedicated an entire article to London’s icon of cocktail culture, the Espresso Martini.

Why is a Vodka Martini also called a kangaroo?

According to bartending tales and legends, this was the original name.

Best Vodka Martini Recipes
Best Vodka Martini Recipes

Best Vodka Martini Recipes


The Original Vodka Martini Recipe


    • 60 ml of vodka
    • 1 tbsp of dry vermouth
    • ice

To garnish, you will need an olive on a cocktail stick or a twist of lemon rind.

How to make your Vodka Martini: Using a cocktail shaker, collect a little ice and leave it to stand for a minute to cool the shaker. Then add the vodka and the dry vermouth and shake well (alternatively, you can use a stirrer to stir the two ingredients together). Strain the drink into a chilled Martini glass. To garnish, add the olive (on a cocktail stick) into the drink or gently rub the lemon zest (to release the oils) before adding it to the glass.

The Dirty Martini Recipe


    • 60 ml of gin
    • 1 tbsp of dry vermouth
    • olives (plus a tsp of the brine)
    • ice

How to make your Dirty Martini: Add some ice, gin, vermouth, and olive brine to a glass or cocktail shaker. Stir several times to ensure the evenness of the ingredients. Please wait until it’s ice-cold and serve with olives in a Martini glass.

The Limoncello Martini Recipe


    • 60 ml of vodka
    • 30 ml of limoncello
    • 1 tbsp of triple sec
    • 10 ml of lemon juice
    • ice

How to make your Limoncello Martini: Put your ice into a shaker and add all the remaining ingredients. Shake the cocktail mixer until the outside is visibly chilled. Strain into a chilled glass and enjoy.


Besides these three traditional recipes, there is a steadily growing number of innovative Vodka Martini concoctions. A fruity Vodka Martini is made by adding a fruit or other juice instead of vermouth (orange, pomegranate, pineapple, cranberry, blueberry, coconut water,…). Stronger versions are mixed by substituting vermouth with another alcoholic beverage like Amaretto, Baileys, Kahlua, Peach Schnapps,…

vodka Martini. The most important part: enjoy it
The most important part: enjoy it

Vodka Martini: The bottom line.

By virtue of these three classic and time-tested Vodka Martini recipes, 007 won't be the only gentleman to swagger his Martini-based cocktail. Whatever may be your choice for smoothing out the evening, an ingenious recipe of the Negroni Sbagliato, the perfect Whiskey Sour, or a classic Vodka Martini with a twist, remember to always drink it cold for the best flavour. And, the most important part: enjoy it!

Last Updated on March 16, 2024 by Editorial Team


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