How to make the ‘perfect’ Martini

How to make the ‘perfect’ Martini


Want to make the ‘perfect’ Martini?

Our Head Mixologist Alex knows a thing about cocktails! He’s been part of the Slingsby Gin family for 7 years now and during that time has created some of our best and most-loved cocktails.

We know how much you all love a classic gin cocktail such as a Negroni, Tom Collins or French 75, but do you know how to make the perfect Martini? If not, Alex has got a few tips that could very well help you master your recipe whilst give you some history about this amazing drink along the way. Over to you Alex…

“H. L. Mencken called the martini ‘the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet’ – so make of that what you will! The main thing you need to know is that martinis are always served with gin. Secondly, ignore what 007 says, they’re always stirred and not shaken. Why? Stirring helps control the amount of dilution, whereas shaking can over dilute.

No-one really knows the origin of the martini, but it takes inspiration from the grandfather of mixing drinks, Jerry Thomas, who published his Bartenders Guide in 1862. The book included a ‘gin cocktail’ recipe that is very similar to the modern-day martini.”

The Gin Cocktail – Jerry Thomas – 1862

  • 2 oz gin (Old Tom style)
  • 1 tsp gum syrup
  • ½ tsp Maraschino Liqueur
  • 2 dashes Boker’s Bitters
  • Lemon peel

“After this, numerous variations popped up between 1882 and 1910 named Marguerite, Martine, Martigny, Martina, Martineau, and the Bradford à la Martini. Fast forward to the late 19th century and the martini had become progressively drier and heavier on the vermouth than it ever was before. This was also due to the fact London Dry gin was becoming more and more popular. We also saw in the 1950s that vodka started being introduced to this classic cocktail either instead of gin or as well as. Apparently, it would leave you breathless!”

Modern ‘Classic’ Martini


  • 60ml London Dry Gin
  • 0ml – 60ml of Vermouth (Dependant on the dryness of the drink)
  • Grapefruit peel
  • 1 dash Orange Bitters (optional)
  • Ice

Instructions: In terms of prep, you’ll need to add your martini and mixing glass into the freezer as well as your gin and vermouth. Also make a large grapefruit peel and pop it in the fridge until your drink has been strained.

Remove mixing glass from the freezer and add the ice into the glass. Remove your vermouth from the fridge and add to the glass. Add in your dash of bitters and your gin. Stir for around 30 seconds (or 60 if you like it more diluted). Grab your martini glass and double strain the mixture into it. Squeeze grapefruit peel oils over the drink and then rim the glass with the stem of the peel. Drop it into the drink and enjoy!


Will it be a churchill, dry or perfect martini? 

Did you know that there are five different types of martinis? Have a go at creating these below following the method above and then finished with the relevant last touches…

Alex’s Slingsby Twist – Made Dry

  • 60ml Old Tom Gin
  • 15ml Dolin vermouth de Chambéry dry
  • Lemon Peel
  • 2 Dashes of Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters (or Orange Bitters)

 Alex’s Slingsby Twist for New Martini Drinkers – Made Wet

  • 60ml Gooseberry Gin
  • 15ml Dolin vermouth de Chambéry blanc
  • Granny Smith Apple Slice
  • 1 Dash Orange Bitters

 Alex’s Slingsby Twist for the Sweet Tooth – Made Perfect

  • 60ml Rhubarb Gin
  • 15ml Antica Formula carpano vermouth
  • 15ml Regal Rogue Wild Rose Vermouth
  • Pink Lady Apple Slice
  • 1 Dash Angostura’s Bitters