How to Mix a Perfect Martini

Add some elegance to your next dinner party.

A true martini, whether shaken or stirred, has only two liquid ingredients -- a premium-quality gin and a good dry vermouth. The only other factor is the chill. The drink must be icy cold, so store both the gin and the glasses in the freezer.

Classic Martini

2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
Lemon twist or 2 to 3 green cocktail olives

You have two options: Stir your liquid ingredients gently with cracked ice or ice cubes in a glass martini pitcher until the glass turns frosty; then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Or shake the ingredients vigorously in a cocktail shaker with cracked ice; then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Run the lemon peel around the rim, twist it over the drink, and drop it in; or simply add the olives.

[Nest Note] To make a dry martini, use only 1/4 ounce dry vermouth. And for a savory alternative to the classic olive, try a garlic- or blue-cheese-stuffed olive.

[Nestpert] Mittie Hellmich, author of The Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide to 750 Cocktails