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How To Order a Martini

Give James Bond a run for his money when requesting this quintessentially American cocktail.


  • Step 1: Decide whether you want a martini made with gin or vodka. Gin is the classic, so you can simply say "martini" when ordering a gin martini. If you want vodka, though, you must specify "vodka martini."
  • TIP: After asking for gin or vodka, be ready to specify your brand. Generally, the better the liquor, the better the drink.
  • Step 2: Specify dryness. "Dryness" refers to the amount of dry vermouth in the cocktail. Today, almost everyone drinks dry martinis, so if you want a lot of vermouth, you'll have to ask for it.
  • Step 3: Choose either "straight up" or "on the rocks." Martinis are generally best undiluted and most often served that way, so you should say "straight up" or better yet, "up," to sound like a jaded pro.
  • Step 4: Specify whether you'd like your drink shaken or stirred. It sounds pretentious, but some people say shaking "bruises" the liquor and chips the ice – leading to a watered-down drink.
  • TIP: Most bartenders have a mixing style and will simply do it automatically.
  • Step 5: Ask for a single olive – the classic garnish – or extra olives if you like lots. If citrus is more your style, order your martini with a twist, which is a slice of lemon peel. A martini with a cocktail onion isn't a martini – it's a "Gibson."
  • TIP: Many bars and restaurants feature olives stuffed with anchovies, blue cheese, jalapeno peppers, asparagus, garlic, and any number of other garnishes.
  • Step 6: "Make it dirty" means the bartender will add extra olive juice. This is generally not recommended unless the liquor is cheap or you really like drinking olive juice.
  • Step 7: Have another, then make sure you have a safe way home.
  • FACT: Journalist H. L. Mencken once called the martini "the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet."

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