Martini Cocktail

Martini Ratios image 1

Martini Ratios

Words by Simon Difford

Ordering a Dry Martini is a lot like ordering a steak. What cut of meat? How well done? And with what sauce? The analogy translates to Martini garnishes ranging from olives and lemon twists to onions, with mixing styles from shaken or stirred to "direct". Assuming you've chosen a Gin Martini over a Vodkatini, then there's the question of what ratio you'd like your Dry Martini?

The proportion of gin to vermouth greatly affects the profile of a Dry Martini to the extent that those with a high proportion of vermouth are described as being "wet" while those with very little vermouth are said to be "bone dry". There is no right or wrong, but the Martini started off wet and as fashions changed became steadily drier until hitting the buffers at a Churchill Martini where the vermouth stays in the bottle but is at least in the same room.

Mood greatly affects what ratio I want my Martini to be, and that ratio will also affect whether I'd prefer my Martini shaken or stirred. Despite protestations by the biased and opinionated, there's nothing wrong with shaking a Dry Martini, so long as the percentage of vermouth is suitably low.

Strangely, shaking a Martini not only makes it colder and more dilute, it also acts to amplify the flavour of the vermouth. Hence, I prefer my Dry Martinis stirred to a 5:1 ratio but shaken to a 10:1 ratio. Be warned, ordering a shaken Dry Martini of any ratio will upset most bartenders more surely than a "very well-done steak" will upset a chef.

Below is a guide to the various ratios Dry Martinis are made to, their associated nicknames, and how these proportions translate to millilitre and ounce measures.

1:1 ratio "Fifty-Fifty"
45ml / 1½oz Gin
45ml / 1½oz Dry vermouth

2:1.5 ratio "Sopping Wet"
60ml / 2oz Gin
40ml / 1⅓oz Dry vermouth

2:1 ratio "Wet" or "Threesome"
60ml / 2oz Gin
30ml / 1oz Dry vermouth

3:1 ratio
60ml / 2oz Gin
20ml / ⅔oz Dry vermouth
1 dash Orange bitters

4:1 ratio
60ml / 2oz Dry gin
15ml / ½oz Dry vermouth

5:1 ratio "Dickens" (my preferred stirred)
62.5ml / 2 & 1/12oz Gin
12.5ml / 2/5oz Dry vermouth

/7:1 ratio "Embury's"
70ml / 2⅓oz Gin
10ml / ⅓oz Dry vermouth

10:1 ratio (my preferred shaken)
75ml / 2½oz Gin
7.5ml / ¼oz Dry vermouth

15:1 ratio "Montgomery's"
75ml / 2½oz Gin
5ml / 1/6oz Dry vermouth

15:5 dumped "Franklin"
75ml / 2½oz Gin
15ml / ½oz Dry vermouth

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