Martini 101

This week’s post, Martini 101, includes helpful tricks and tips to the perfect martini and recipes for a Dirty Martini, Strawberry Vinegar Martini, California Pomegranate Martini, and last but DEFINITELY not least, the Raspberry Cheesecake Martini.

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Written by David Edessa:

What is a Dry Martini?

What makes a Martini dry is the amount of Dry Vermouth that is used in the Martini Recipe. The less vermouth you use, the drier the Martini and so very dry means no vermouth. However, originally vermouth was created to hide the taste of inferior white or red wine and cheap booze. Today’s distillers produce better quality products (it kills me to see a good vodka being combined with vermouth personally).

I personally like to use on Martinis what in the trade we call a Boston shaker…. It leaves that thin line of ice floating on top of the martini (don’t use too much ice… You need the movement to crush ice)

What is a Dirty Martini? (Does not mean the booze has been bad!)

A Dirty Martini is the addition of the brine from the jar of olives to your Vodka Martini or Gin Martini. This is not olive juice or vinegar it is the salt solution that the olives are packed in.

Dirty Martini

  • 2 oz. Dry Gin or Vodka
  • 1/4 oz. Dry Vermouth (optional)
  • 1/8 oz. olive brine (or to taste)
  • 3 green olives (being a Deist hypocrite I personally I like three for the trinity)
  • Lemon wedge


Into a cocktail shaker, pour the Gin (or Vodka), Dry Vermouth and olive brine. Add ice and shake with a purpose. Rub the rim of the martini glass with the wedge of lemon. Strain and pour contents of cocktail shaker into a martini glass. Drop the olives into the martini before serving.

Flavored vinegars in drinks are not a new thing….. I personally enjoy adding that sour note in drinks

Strawberry Vinegar Martini

  • 1.75 oz. Citrus Vodka
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 3 strawberries, hulled (not frozen)
  • 1/4 oz. balsamic vinegar
  • (The better the vinegar… The better the drink)
  • Orange rind
  • Garnish with a Strawberry


Muddle the strawberries with the balsamic vinegar, simple syrup and lime juice. Add the vodka and ice. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled martini glass. Squeeze the orange rind on top of the glass so the juice goes into the glass. Rub the rind all around the rim to give it an orange flavor. Then garnish with a juicy strawberry and sometimes I like to dip the strawberry in powdered sugar if they are not sweet enough.

California Pomegranate Martini

  • 1 oz. Orange Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau orange liqueur
  • 3 oz. pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Lemon Slice for Garnish


Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice so that the shaker is about a third full (ice plus ingredients). Shake vigorously and then strain into a chilled martini. Squeeze a couple of drops from the lemon slice into the glass, then garnish the side of the cocktail glass with the slice of lemon.

Raspberry Cheesecake Martini

  • 2 oz. Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 oz. Chambord raspberry liqueur
  • 1 oz. Heavy Cream
  • 1 tsp. Jell-O Cheesecake pudding mix
  • Crushed Graham Crackers


Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice so that the shaker is about a third full and add ingredients. Shake vigorously and then strain into a chilled martini. Wet the rim of the cocktail glass with the lemon juice. Place crushed graham cracker in a saucer and dip the rim of the martini glass into the saucer, to produce a ring of graham cracker stuck to the lemon juice as a decorative rim around the glass that will add to the flavor.


Photo Sources: Mr. Allen Edwards Blog, Amaryllis Designs,, Washington Life


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