The Martini is a thing of glory. Crisp, clean and strong as a tidal wave of gin smacking into your face, it is a force of nature within the cocktail world, and (bonus!) it’s super easy to master at home. Once you have stirred your way to becoming a Martini expert, try giving your spirit-heavy tipple an upgrade. Here, five easy ways to make your great Martini even greater.
The original Gin Martini was made with orange bitters, so recreate history and add a few dashes of any number of bitters. Opt for orange for a tried-and-true experience, or try something new like turmeric bitters for an earthy, almost tropical cocktail. You also can’t go wrong with adding pine bitters for a drink that tastes like a Pacific Northwest forest, or take that citrusy sipper to the next herbaceous level by adding grapefruit bitters for an ultra-refreshing tipple. The possibilities are almost endless, and just a couple of dashes can transform your favorite classic cocktail into a signature perfect for any season.
Go All Out on Olives
While a simple pimento-stuffed olive (or, preferably, three) makes for a fine snack at the end of a drink, there is a big, wide world of olives out there that can serve your personal tastes even better. Get a spicy kick from jalapeno-stuffed olives, or add a slick of tasty funk with blue cheese-stuffed varieties. Make your post-drink, gin-soaked snack more filling by swapping in almond-stuffed olives or combine the drink’s two iconic garnishes into one with lemon-stuffed olives. Sorry if we got a little Bubba from Forrest Gump on you there—we like olives...a lot.
Swap Out Vermouth for Sherry
One has the right to ask: Is a Martini made without vermouth still a Martini? Try one made with dry sherry like fino or manzanilla in place of dry vermouth and see for yourself. The end product certainly has more heft to it, more brine, more of a twang—but it still has the soul of a Martini.
Something amazing happens to an all-spirits cocktail like a Martini after it spends some time in the freezer: Its texture changes. It turns from sheer cotton to silk. It becomes viscous and as elegant as any two-ingredient drink can be. Plus, while it feels like a special occasion drink, it’s actually the best post-work, “kick back on the couch with a bowl of potato chips” drink ever. It can be pre-batched and stored in the freezer, so you can pop and pour the second you walk in the door.
Change Up the Garnish Entirely
If you’ve never swapped out your Martini olives for a giant caperberry, you’ve never lived—and that’s coming from some serious olive fanatics. Go beyond the holy garnish trinity (the twist, the olive and the cocktail onion), and try dropping something else into your vermouth-laced gin. Aside from the incredible caperberry, there’s also petite and piquant cornichons, pickled jalapeno rings, sprigs of herbs (rosemary or dill work particularly well) or even a sheet of seaweed. We apologize ahead of time, because you now need to dedicate an entire shelf in your fridge to your Martini. It’s worth it, we promise.