Gin or vodka? Dry or wet? Shaken or stirred?
Martinis are classic, but if you’re not a bartender, it can be confusing to start drinking them. Don’t be intimidated. The original martinis were made with gin, vermouth, bitters, maraschino liquer and a lemon garnish in the mid-1800s. It wasn’t until the 60’s that the vodka martini was popularized. Gin has an herby, complex flavor. Vodka will be smoother and more easygoing.
“Dry” and “wet” refer to how much dry vermouth is added. Originally, martinis used a 1:1 ratio, making it as sweet as it was boozy. Nowadays, vermouth is drizzled in at the end. A dry martini is less than usual, wet is more. Whether the drink is shaken or stirred won’t change things much (some purists say stirred is smoother), but stirred is less likely to have bits of ice floating in it.
Experiment with different combinations of these ingredients and find what best fits your taste. Who knows, one day you might find your signature order and look even cooler than James Bond.