Cocktail Carmen's 5 D's for the perfect martini

The 5 D's for the perfect Martini

Let's talk martinis!

Ever wanted to order a martini but afraid you’ll get it wrong? “Dirty martini, very dry”, “Vodka martini, wet with a twist” – what does that mean? The beauty of a martini is that’s it’s completely customisable to your taste and, once you find your order, you’ll never look back.

Here are the 5 D’s you need to know when designing your perfect martini recipe...

  1. DRINK

    It’s time to choose your fighter – gin or vodka. There’s no right or wrong, simply your preferred liquor. Vodka is a neutral flavour whereas gin will give more character from the botanicals and will vary depending on the gin used.

    58 and CO London Dry Gin and Triple Distilled Vodka

  2. DRY

    The second key ingredient in a martini is vermouth, a fortified wine flavoured with botanicals. Adding vermouth to gin/vodka opens it up, like adding water to whisky. There are different styles of vermouth but in a martini you’ll generally be having dry vermouth. This is standard practice, so you don’t need to specify, and in fact asking for ‘dry’ refers to the amount of vermouth, not the style. If you ask for your martini ‘wet’, you want more vermouth, if you ask for it ‘dry’, you want less vermouth.

  3. DIRTY

    You don’t have to get dirty if you don’t want to! Making a martini ‘dirty’ refers to adding in olive brine or pickle juice, giving it a savoury flavour. This is an acquired taste which isn’t for everyone. If you like it, you can ask for it ‘very dirty’ meaning you want a lot of brine/juice adding, or ‘a little dirty’ meaning you just want a little splash.


    Shaken or stirred? Once you have your key ingredients, the magic of a martini is in the dilution and the temperature – it must be ice cold. Stirring the ingredients over ice will give you more control over the dilution to achieve the desired balance. Shaking a martini over ice will dilute it a lot more, which is why 007 prefers it!

  5. DRESS

    Strain your martini into a frozen glass and you’re ready to garnish. This is the final step to achieve that extra dimension of flavour. Keep it fresh with a twist of lemon peel, or stick to the savoury with olives, pickles or even an onion.

It’s that simple! So next time you’re making or ordering a martini, stick to the 5 D’s – Drink, Dry, Dirty, Dilute and Dress. Cheers!

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