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Shaken or stirred, wet or dry?

With International Martini day around the corner there is no better time to sharpen things up when it comes to this all time classic! There’s a reason the Martini is such a popular drink. It’s stylish, refreshing, timeless and oh-so-versatile as an early evening aperitif or a post-dinner digestive.

But what kind of Martini suits you? And what exactly is a dry Martini, wet Martini or a dirty Martini? The list goes on! If you are struggling with the tricky terminology - we’ve put together an essential guide that will give you a helping hand. 


A ‘stirred Martini’ sees the ingredients mixed with ice in a shaker and stirred with a bar spoon for at least 45 seconds. This ensures the drink is properly chilled but not overly agitated.

SHAKEN Martini

James Bond admirers have been asking for their Martini to be ‘shaken, not stirred’ for years – but what’s the science behind this definition? Ordering a Martini ‘shaken’ means the cocktail will be more agitated and therefore more diluted. This is because the shaking motion breaks off tiny ice shards. Shaking also adds air to the drink, while stirring keeps the consistency velvety. 

DIRTY Martini

For those who like their cocktails to have a savory edge, the Dirty Martini is a delicious, slightly salty choice. The term ‘dirty’ means that olive brine, usually from a jar of cocktail olives, has been added to the drink. An olive garnish is typically assumed too. Most bars add equal parts vermouth and brine, though you can specify ‘extra dirty’ if you prefer more brine.

DRY Martini

The effortlessly cool order is popular amongst today’s Martini drinkers, but what goes into making a ‘dry Martini’? First, ‘dry’ indicates that very little vermouth has been added to the cocktail, so the gin is the primary focus. The typical ratio is 6 parts gin to 1 part vermouth. However, order ‘extra dry’ and you’ll get the slightest splash of vermouth, or even just a glass coating wash.

WET Martini

Fittingly enough, the opposite of a dry Martini is a wet Martini. ‘Wet’ simply means that there’s a higher percentage of vermouth, with a typical ratio being 3 parts gin to 1 part vermouth.


You want to learn how to order the perfect Martini, but the term ‘perfect’ in this instance doesn’t just mean that your drink was well made. A ‘perfect Martini’ is one that uses 50% dry, and 50% sweet vermouth.


Of course you want to order the perfect Martini with an extra dose of pizzazz. But the phrase ‘with a twist’ specifies that you’d like a strip of citrus peel to be twisted across the top of your drink, releasing aromatic oils into the cocktail. You can typically choose between orange, lemon and lime. Bartenders might also ask if you’d like the twist left in your drink as a garnish.

That’s a wrap! Now that we have everyone in the mood for Martini’s… TIME TO BE SOCIAL!




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