You don’t have to be a mixologist to master a dirty vodka martini. (It is the simplest of cocktails, after all.) But before you reach for your shaker, check out our tips on how to pour the perfect drink every time.
1. Use premium vodka only. This might seem like bartending 101, but we need to say it: Choose top-shelf, people. The vodka is distilled more, which makes it taste cleaner and smoother. (Bonus tip: Store the bottle in the freezer.)
2. Don't stir too much. For the record, traditional martinis are stirred, not shaken. You don’t want to distress the vodka or water it down, so 30 seconds is enough. (If you must shake, do so for 10 seconds, or about three up and down motions.)
3. Chill the glass, always. This will keep the martini colder longer. Put a glass in the freezer for up to 10 minutes prior to serving, or place a handful of ice cubes in the glass, wait five minutes and then dump the ice.
4. Follow this recipe. Fill a cocktail shaker nearly to the top with ice. Add 2 ½ shots of ice-cold premium vodka, ½ shot dry vermouth and 4 teaspoons olive brine. Stir the martini for 30 seconds with a bar spoon (or cover the shaker and shake for 10 seconds). Pour the martini, using a Hawthorne strainer to keep the ice in place, into a chilled glass. Garnish with olives (preferably stuffed with blue cheese, pickled jalapeños or garlic cloves). Serve immediately.