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The Proper Cocktail Glass Primer

The Proper Cocktail Glass Primer


An in-depth look at the various styles of cocktail glassware and their cocktails.

Courtesy of iStockphoto

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These days, mixologists are taking inventive liberties and straying from the strict rules of cocktails past and experimenting with new variations and serving styles. Classic drinks like the Manhattan are being shaken and strained into rocks glasses, as the snifters that grandfathers sipped Brandy out of while smoking cigars are being filled with decadent dessert cocktails.

With all of the current creativity in the cocktail world, the delicious concoctions being developed, with their bright, skewered garnishes and fragrant aromas, are sure to satisfy regardless of whether they’re served in a Mason jar or an elegant flute. But, picking the proper cocktail glass can only heighten the experience.

Preparing cocktails at home can seem intimidating when you don’t have the glass that a recipe requires, but luckily we’re here to help. With our informative slideshow, you will be well-equipped to make some artistic and creative decisions of your own.

In addition to listing the most common and versatile glasses, we’ve included both classical and new-age approaches to using them. Test out the recipes that we’ve suggested or experiment with some of your own.


How To Speak Fluent Martini

Tired of cocktail recipes that call for expensive, obscure bottles and fancy-pants techniques? We got you. Welcome to Happy Hour with Al, a monthly column where Al Culliton, Basically’s resident bartender, sets you up to get the most bang for your booze with the fewest possible bottles.

We’re going to do something very important here. We’re going to help you and your pals figure out exactly how you like your martini. For those of you who already have your preferences, this will just be a chance to drink a martini. But for those of you who haven’t yet developed a preference (or feel intimidated by the whole martini mystique), consider this your chance to figure out what the hell a martini is and how you take yours.

Yes, you have a martini. You just don’t know it yet.

The cocktail we now know as the martini has a muddy origin story its name has changed over the years, as have its contents (sometimes including sweet vermouth, absinthe, and/or various bitters). But by the early 20th century, what we now refer to as the martini was codified as a mix of London Dry gin and dry vermouth, garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Since then it has permeated American culture and become an unrivaled symbol of sophistication. While its most notable proponent is, of course, James Bond and his famously fussy order in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, the drink goes beyond associations with those who have loved it dearly. In its famous conical glass, the martini is a visual currency the world over, on millions of menus and neon signs. In many ways the martini is the cocktail.

Today we’re going to make a few different versions so you can determine exactly what to say when you’re at a steak house with great aunt Mary who has just deftly ordered one for herself. This isn’t about showing her up. It’s about getting comfortable with this unparalleled icon of American cocktail culture.

1 bottle London dry gin
1 bottle good-quality vodka (I still favor European brands)
1 bottle dry vermouth (Dolin is my choice)
1 bottle orange bitters
1 jar Spanish Queen olives
2 lemons
Cocktail picks (I like bamboo swords)
Plenty of ice

Some advice: Put some martini glasses or coupes in your freezer before you start mixing. Very cold glasses are best here.

And a word on garnishes: There are two main garnish camps in the martini world, a lemon twist or an olive. Both are great and right and true! In the recipes below I list my personal garnish of choice for each drink, but you should feel free to experiment with what you like. The lemon has the effect of brightening up the drink and bringing out the botanical notes in both the gin and the vermouth. The olive, on the other hand, is iconic and has the effect of giving the drink a savory tinge. I prefer the almost cartoonish Spanish Queen olives, which are stuffed with little pimiento peppers, to the fancy ones from the antipasti bar. Call me crazy! And please, pick up some proper cocktail picks. An olive (or three) on a toothpick that sinks to the bottom of your glass is just sad.


How To Speak Fluent Martini

Tired of cocktail recipes that call for expensive, obscure bottles and fancy-pants techniques? We got you. Welcome to Happy Hour with Al, a monthly column where Al Culliton, Basically’s resident bartender, sets you up to get the most bang for your booze with the fewest possible bottles.

We’re going to do something very important here. We’re going to help you and your pals figure out exactly how you like your martini. For those of you who already have your preferences, this will just be a chance to drink a martini. But for those of you who haven’t yet developed a preference (or feel intimidated by the whole martini mystique), consider this your chance to figure out what the hell a martini is and how you take yours.

Yes, you have a martini. You just don’t know it yet.

The cocktail we now know as the martini has a muddy origin story its name has changed over the years, as have its contents (sometimes including sweet vermouth, absinthe, and/or various bitters). But by the early 20th century, what we now refer to as the martini was codified as a mix of London Dry gin and dry vermouth, garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Since then it has permeated American culture and become an unrivaled symbol of sophistication. While its most notable proponent is, of course, James Bond and his famously fussy order in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, the drink goes beyond associations with those who have loved it dearly. In its famous conical glass, the martini is a visual currency the world over, on millions of menus and neon signs. In many ways the martini is the cocktail.

Today we’re going to make a few different versions so you can determine exactly what to say when you’re at a steak house with great aunt Mary who has just deftly ordered one for herself. This isn’t about showing her up. It’s about getting comfortable with this unparalleled icon of American cocktail culture.

1 bottle London dry gin
1 bottle good-quality vodka (I still favor European brands)
1 bottle dry vermouth (Dolin is my choice)
1 bottle orange bitters
1 jar Spanish Queen olives
2 lemons
Cocktail picks (I like bamboo swords)
Plenty of ice

Some advice: Put some martini glasses or coupes in your freezer before you start mixing. Very cold glasses are best here.

And a word on garnishes: There are two main garnish camps in the martini world, a lemon twist or an olive. Both are great and right and true! In the recipes below I list my personal garnish of choice for each drink, but you should feel free to experiment with what you like. The lemon has the effect of brightening up the drink and bringing out the botanical notes in both the gin and the vermouth. The olive, on the other hand, is iconic and has the effect of giving the drink a savory tinge. I prefer the almost cartoonish Spanish Queen olives, which are stuffed with little pimiento peppers, to the fancy ones from the antipasti bar. Call me crazy! And please, pick up some proper cocktail picks. An olive (or three) on a toothpick that sinks to the bottom of your glass is just sad.


How To Speak Fluent Martini

Tired of cocktail recipes that call for expensive, obscure bottles and fancy-pants techniques? We got you. Welcome to Happy Hour with Al, a monthly column where Al Culliton, Basically’s resident bartender, sets you up to get the most bang for your booze with the fewest possible bottles.

We’re going to do something very important here. We’re going to help you and your pals figure out exactly how you like your martini. For those of you who already have your preferences, this will just be a chance to drink a martini. But for those of you who haven’t yet developed a preference (or feel intimidated by the whole martini mystique), consider this your chance to figure out what the hell a martini is and how you take yours.

Yes, you have a martini. You just don’t know it yet.

The cocktail we now know as the martini has a muddy origin story its name has changed over the years, as have its contents (sometimes including sweet vermouth, absinthe, and/or various bitters). But by the early 20th century, what we now refer to as the martini was codified as a mix of London Dry gin and dry vermouth, garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Since then it has permeated American culture and become an unrivaled symbol of sophistication. While its most notable proponent is, of course, James Bond and his famously fussy order in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, the drink goes beyond associations with those who have loved it dearly. In its famous conical glass, the martini is a visual currency the world over, on millions of menus and neon signs. In many ways the martini is the cocktail.

Today we’re going to make a few different versions so you can determine exactly what to say when you’re at a steak house with great aunt Mary who has just deftly ordered one for herself. This isn’t about showing her up. It’s about getting comfortable with this unparalleled icon of American cocktail culture.

1 bottle London dry gin
1 bottle good-quality vodka (I still favor European brands)
1 bottle dry vermouth (Dolin is my choice)
1 bottle orange bitters
1 jar Spanish Queen olives
2 lemons
Cocktail picks (I like bamboo swords)
Plenty of ice

Some advice: Put some martini glasses or coupes in your freezer before you start mixing. Very cold glasses are best here.

And a word on garnishes: There are two main garnish camps in the martini world, a lemon twist or an olive. Both are great and right and true! In the recipes below I list my personal garnish of choice for each drink, but you should feel free to experiment with what you like. The lemon has the effect of brightening up the drink and bringing out the botanical notes in both the gin and the vermouth. The olive, on the other hand, is iconic and has the effect of giving the drink a savory tinge. I prefer the almost cartoonish Spanish Queen olives, which are stuffed with little pimiento peppers, to the fancy ones from the antipasti bar. Call me crazy! And please, pick up some proper cocktail picks. An olive (or three) on a toothpick that sinks to the bottom of your glass is just sad.


How To Speak Fluent Martini

Tired of cocktail recipes that call for expensive, obscure bottles and fancy-pants techniques? We got you. Welcome to Happy Hour with Al, a monthly column where Al Culliton, Basically’s resident bartender, sets you up to get the most bang for your booze with the fewest possible bottles.

We’re going to do something very important here. We’re going to help you and your pals figure out exactly how you like your martini. For those of you who already have your preferences, this will just be a chance to drink a martini. But for those of you who haven’t yet developed a preference (or feel intimidated by the whole martini mystique), consider this your chance to figure out what the hell a martini is and how you take yours.

Yes, you have a martini. You just don’t know it yet.

The cocktail we now know as the martini has a muddy origin story its name has changed over the years, as have its contents (sometimes including sweet vermouth, absinthe, and/or various bitters). But by the early 20th century, what we now refer to as the martini was codified as a mix of London Dry gin and dry vermouth, garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Since then it has permeated American culture and become an unrivaled symbol of sophistication. While its most notable proponent is, of course, James Bond and his famously fussy order in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, the drink goes beyond associations with those who have loved it dearly. In its famous conical glass, the martini is a visual currency the world over, on millions of menus and neon signs. In many ways the martini is the cocktail.

Today we’re going to make a few different versions so you can determine exactly what to say when you’re at a steak house with great aunt Mary who has just deftly ordered one for herself. This isn’t about showing her up. It’s about getting comfortable with this unparalleled icon of American cocktail culture.

1 bottle London dry gin
1 bottle good-quality vodka (I still favor European brands)
1 bottle dry vermouth (Dolin is my choice)
1 bottle orange bitters
1 jar Spanish Queen olives
2 lemons
Cocktail picks (I like bamboo swords)
Plenty of ice

Some advice: Put some martini glasses or coupes in your freezer before you start mixing. Very cold glasses are best here.

And a word on garnishes: There are two main garnish camps in the martini world, a lemon twist or an olive. Both are great and right and true! In the recipes below I list my personal garnish of choice for each drink, but you should feel free to experiment with what you like. The lemon has the effect of brightening up the drink and bringing out the botanical notes in both the gin and the vermouth. The olive, on the other hand, is iconic and has the effect of giving the drink a savory tinge. I prefer the almost cartoonish Spanish Queen olives, which are stuffed with little pimiento peppers, to the fancy ones from the antipasti bar. Call me crazy! And please, pick up some proper cocktail picks. An olive (or three) on a toothpick that sinks to the bottom of your glass is just sad.


How To Speak Fluent Martini

Tired of cocktail recipes that call for expensive, obscure bottles and fancy-pants techniques? We got you. Welcome to Happy Hour with Al, a monthly column where Al Culliton, Basically’s resident bartender, sets you up to get the most bang for your booze with the fewest possible bottles.

We’re going to do something very important here. We’re going to help you and your pals figure out exactly how you like your martini. For those of you who already have your preferences, this will just be a chance to drink a martini. But for those of you who haven’t yet developed a preference (or feel intimidated by the whole martini mystique), consider this your chance to figure out what the hell a martini is and how you take yours.

Yes, you have a martini. You just don’t know it yet.

The cocktail we now know as the martini has a muddy origin story its name has changed over the years, as have its contents (sometimes including sweet vermouth, absinthe, and/or various bitters). But by the early 20th century, what we now refer to as the martini was codified as a mix of London Dry gin and dry vermouth, garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Since then it has permeated American culture and become an unrivaled symbol of sophistication. While its most notable proponent is, of course, James Bond and his famously fussy order in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, the drink goes beyond associations with those who have loved it dearly. In its famous conical glass, the martini is a visual currency the world over, on millions of menus and neon signs. In many ways the martini is the cocktail.

Today we’re going to make a few different versions so you can determine exactly what to say when you’re at a steak house with great aunt Mary who has just deftly ordered one for herself. This isn’t about showing her up. It’s about getting comfortable with this unparalleled icon of American cocktail culture.

1 bottle London dry gin
1 bottle good-quality vodka (I still favor European brands)
1 bottle dry vermouth (Dolin is my choice)
1 bottle orange bitters
1 jar Spanish Queen olives
2 lemons
Cocktail picks (I like bamboo swords)
Plenty of ice

Some advice: Put some martini glasses or coupes in your freezer before you start mixing. Very cold glasses are best here.

And a word on garnishes: There are two main garnish camps in the martini world, a lemon twist or an olive. Both are great and right and true! In the recipes below I list my personal garnish of choice for each drink, but you should feel free to experiment with what you like. The lemon has the effect of brightening up the drink and bringing out the botanical notes in both the gin and the vermouth. The olive, on the other hand, is iconic and has the effect of giving the drink a savory tinge. I prefer the almost cartoonish Spanish Queen olives, which are stuffed with little pimiento peppers, to the fancy ones from the antipasti bar. Call me crazy! And please, pick up some proper cocktail picks. An olive (or three) on a toothpick that sinks to the bottom of your glass is just sad.


How To Speak Fluent Martini

Tired of cocktail recipes that call for expensive, obscure bottles and fancy-pants techniques? We got you. Welcome to Happy Hour with Al, a monthly column where Al Culliton, Basically’s resident bartender, sets you up to get the most bang for your booze with the fewest possible bottles.

We’re going to do something very important here. We’re going to help you and your pals figure out exactly how you like your martini. For those of you who already have your preferences, this will just be a chance to drink a martini. But for those of you who haven’t yet developed a preference (or feel intimidated by the whole martini mystique), consider this your chance to figure out what the hell a martini is and how you take yours.

Yes, you have a martini. You just don’t know it yet.

The cocktail we now know as the martini has a muddy origin story its name has changed over the years, as have its contents (sometimes including sweet vermouth, absinthe, and/or various bitters). But by the early 20th century, what we now refer to as the martini was codified as a mix of London Dry gin and dry vermouth, garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Since then it has permeated American culture and become an unrivaled symbol of sophistication. While its most notable proponent is, of course, James Bond and his famously fussy order in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, the drink goes beyond associations with those who have loved it dearly. In its famous conical glass, the martini is a visual currency the world over, on millions of menus and neon signs. In many ways the martini is the cocktail.

Today we’re going to make a few different versions so you can determine exactly what to say when you’re at a steak house with great aunt Mary who has just deftly ordered one for herself. This isn’t about showing her up. It’s about getting comfortable with this unparalleled icon of American cocktail culture.

1 bottle London dry gin
1 bottle good-quality vodka (I still favor European brands)
1 bottle dry vermouth (Dolin is my choice)
1 bottle orange bitters
1 jar Spanish Queen olives
2 lemons
Cocktail picks (I like bamboo swords)
Plenty of ice

Some advice: Put some martini glasses or coupes in your freezer before you start mixing. Very cold glasses are best here.

And a word on garnishes: There are two main garnish camps in the martini world, a lemon twist or an olive. Both are great and right and true! In the recipes below I list my personal garnish of choice for each drink, but you should feel free to experiment with what you like. The lemon has the effect of brightening up the drink and bringing out the botanical notes in both the gin and the vermouth. The olive, on the other hand, is iconic and has the effect of giving the drink a savory tinge. I prefer the almost cartoonish Spanish Queen olives, which are stuffed with little pimiento peppers, to the fancy ones from the antipasti bar. Call me crazy! And please, pick up some proper cocktail picks. An olive (or three) on a toothpick that sinks to the bottom of your glass is just sad.


How To Speak Fluent Martini

Tired of cocktail recipes that call for expensive, obscure bottles and fancy-pants techniques? We got you. Welcome to Happy Hour with Al, a monthly column where Al Culliton, Basically’s resident bartender, sets you up to get the most bang for your booze with the fewest possible bottles.

We’re going to do something very important here. We’re going to help you and your pals figure out exactly how you like your martini. For those of you who already have your preferences, this will just be a chance to drink a martini. But for those of you who haven’t yet developed a preference (or feel intimidated by the whole martini mystique), consider this your chance to figure out what the hell a martini is and how you take yours.

Yes, you have a martini. You just don’t know it yet.

The cocktail we now know as the martini has a muddy origin story its name has changed over the years, as have its contents (sometimes including sweet vermouth, absinthe, and/or various bitters). But by the early 20th century, what we now refer to as the martini was codified as a mix of London Dry gin and dry vermouth, garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Since then it has permeated American culture and become an unrivaled symbol of sophistication. While its most notable proponent is, of course, James Bond and his famously fussy order in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, the drink goes beyond associations with those who have loved it dearly. In its famous conical glass, the martini is a visual currency the world over, on millions of menus and neon signs. In many ways the martini is the cocktail.

Today we’re going to make a few different versions so you can determine exactly what to say when you’re at a steak house with great aunt Mary who has just deftly ordered one for herself. This isn’t about showing her up. It’s about getting comfortable with this unparalleled icon of American cocktail culture.

1 bottle London dry gin
1 bottle good-quality vodka (I still favor European brands)
1 bottle dry vermouth (Dolin is my choice)
1 bottle orange bitters
1 jar Spanish Queen olives
2 lemons
Cocktail picks (I like bamboo swords)
Plenty of ice

Some advice: Put some martini glasses or coupes in your freezer before you start mixing. Very cold glasses are best here.

And a word on garnishes: There are two main garnish camps in the martini world, a lemon twist or an olive. Both are great and right and true! In the recipes below I list my personal garnish of choice for each drink, but you should feel free to experiment with what you like. The lemon has the effect of brightening up the drink and bringing out the botanical notes in both the gin and the vermouth. The olive, on the other hand, is iconic and has the effect of giving the drink a savory tinge. I prefer the almost cartoonish Spanish Queen olives, which are stuffed with little pimiento peppers, to the fancy ones from the antipasti bar. Call me crazy! And please, pick up some proper cocktail picks. An olive (or three) on a toothpick that sinks to the bottom of your glass is just sad.


How To Speak Fluent Martini

Tired of cocktail recipes that call for expensive, obscure bottles and fancy-pants techniques? We got you. Welcome to Happy Hour with Al, a monthly column where Al Culliton, Basically’s resident bartender, sets you up to get the most bang for your booze with the fewest possible bottles.

We’re going to do something very important here. We’re going to help you and your pals figure out exactly how you like your martini. For those of you who already have your preferences, this will just be a chance to drink a martini. But for those of you who haven’t yet developed a preference (or feel intimidated by the whole martini mystique), consider this your chance to figure out what the hell a martini is and how you take yours.

Yes, you have a martini. You just don’t know it yet.

The cocktail we now know as the martini has a muddy origin story its name has changed over the years, as have its contents (sometimes including sweet vermouth, absinthe, and/or various bitters). But by the early 20th century, what we now refer to as the martini was codified as a mix of London Dry gin and dry vermouth, garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Since then it has permeated American culture and become an unrivaled symbol of sophistication. While its most notable proponent is, of course, James Bond and his famously fussy order in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, the drink goes beyond associations with those who have loved it dearly. In its famous conical glass, the martini is a visual currency the world over, on millions of menus and neon signs. In many ways the martini is the cocktail.

Today we’re going to make a few different versions so you can determine exactly what to say when you’re at a steak house with great aunt Mary who has just deftly ordered one for herself. This isn’t about showing her up. It’s about getting comfortable with this unparalleled icon of American cocktail culture.

1 bottle London dry gin
1 bottle good-quality vodka (I still favor European brands)
1 bottle dry vermouth (Dolin is my choice)
1 bottle orange bitters
1 jar Spanish Queen olives
2 lemons
Cocktail picks (I like bamboo swords)
Plenty of ice

Some advice: Put some martini glasses or coupes in your freezer before you start mixing. Very cold glasses are best here.

And a word on garnishes: There are two main garnish camps in the martini world, a lemon twist or an olive. Both are great and right and true! In the recipes below I list my personal garnish of choice for each drink, but you should feel free to experiment with what you like. The lemon has the effect of brightening up the drink and bringing out the botanical notes in both the gin and the vermouth. The olive, on the other hand, is iconic and has the effect of giving the drink a savory tinge. I prefer the almost cartoonish Spanish Queen olives, which are stuffed with little pimiento peppers, to the fancy ones from the antipasti bar. Call me crazy! And please, pick up some proper cocktail picks. An olive (or three) on a toothpick that sinks to the bottom of your glass is just sad.


How To Speak Fluent Martini

Tired of cocktail recipes that call for expensive, obscure bottles and fancy-pants techniques? We got you. Welcome to Happy Hour with Al, a monthly column where Al Culliton, Basically’s resident bartender, sets you up to get the most bang for your booze with the fewest possible bottles.

We’re going to do something very important here. We’re going to help you and your pals figure out exactly how you like your martini. For those of you who already have your preferences, this will just be a chance to drink a martini. But for those of you who haven’t yet developed a preference (or feel intimidated by the whole martini mystique), consider this your chance to figure out what the hell a martini is and how you take yours.

Yes, you have a martini. You just don’t know it yet.

The cocktail we now know as the martini has a muddy origin story its name has changed over the years, as have its contents (sometimes including sweet vermouth, absinthe, and/or various bitters). But by the early 20th century, what we now refer to as the martini was codified as a mix of London Dry gin and dry vermouth, garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Since then it has permeated American culture and become an unrivaled symbol of sophistication. While its most notable proponent is, of course, James Bond and his famously fussy order in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, the drink goes beyond associations with those who have loved it dearly. In its famous conical glass, the martini is a visual currency the world over, on millions of menus and neon signs. In many ways the martini is the cocktail.

Today we’re going to make a few different versions so you can determine exactly what to say when you’re at a steak house with great aunt Mary who has just deftly ordered one for herself. This isn’t about showing her up. It’s about getting comfortable with this unparalleled icon of American cocktail culture.

1 bottle London dry gin
1 bottle good-quality vodka (I still favor European brands)
1 bottle dry vermouth (Dolin is my choice)
1 bottle orange bitters
1 jar Spanish Queen olives
2 lemons
Cocktail picks (I like bamboo swords)
Plenty of ice

Some advice: Put some martini glasses or coupes in your freezer before you start mixing. Very cold glasses are best here.

And a word on garnishes: There are two main garnish camps in the martini world, a lemon twist or an olive. Both are great and right and true! In the recipes below I list my personal garnish of choice for each drink, but you should feel free to experiment with what you like. The lemon has the effect of brightening up the drink and bringing out the botanical notes in both the gin and the vermouth. The olive, on the other hand, is iconic and has the effect of giving the drink a savory tinge. I prefer the almost cartoonish Spanish Queen olives, which are stuffed with little pimiento peppers, to the fancy ones from the antipasti bar. Call me crazy! And please, pick up some proper cocktail picks. An olive (or three) on a toothpick that sinks to the bottom of your glass is just sad.


How To Speak Fluent Martini

Tired of cocktail recipes that call for expensive, obscure bottles and fancy-pants techniques? We got you. Welcome to Happy Hour with Al, a monthly column where Al Culliton, Basically’s resident bartender, sets you up to get the most bang for your booze with the fewest possible bottles.

We’re going to do something very important here. We’re going to help you and your pals figure out exactly how you like your martini. For those of you who already have your preferences, this will just be a chance to drink a martini. But for those of you who haven’t yet developed a preference (or feel intimidated by the whole martini mystique), consider this your chance to figure out what the hell a martini is and how you take yours.

Yes, you have a martini. You just don’t know it yet.

The cocktail we now know as the martini has a muddy origin story its name has changed over the years, as have its contents (sometimes including sweet vermouth, absinthe, and/or various bitters). But by the early 20th century, what we now refer to as the martini was codified as a mix of London Dry gin and dry vermouth, garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Since then it has permeated American culture and become an unrivaled symbol of sophistication. While its most notable proponent is, of course, James Bond and his famously fussy order in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, the drink goes beyond associations with those who have loved it dearly. In its famous conical glass, the martini is a visual currency the world over, on millions of menus and neon signs. In many ways the martini is the cocktail.

Today we’re going to make a few different versions so you can determine exactly what to say when you’re at a steak house with great aunt Mary who has just deftly ordered one for herself. This isn’t about showing her up. It’s about getting comfortable with this unparalleled icon of American cocktail culture.

1 bottle London dry gin
1 bottle good-quality vodka (I still favor European brands)
1 bottle dry vermouth (Dolin is my choice)
1 bottle orange bitters
1 jar Spanish Queen olives
2 lemons
Cocktail picks (I like bamboo swords)
Plenty of ice

Some advice: Put some martini glasses or coupes in your freezer before you start mixing. Very cold glasses are best here.

And a word on garnishes: There are two main garnish camps in the martini world, a lemon twist or an olive. Both are great and right and true! In the recipes below I list my personal garnish of choice for each drink, but you should feel free to experiment with what you like. The lemon has the effect of brightening up the drink and bringing out the botanical notes in both the gin and the vermouth. The olive, on the other hand, is iconic and has the effect of giving the drink a savory tinge. I prefer the almost cartoonish Spanish Queen olives, which are stuffed with little pimiento peppers, to the fancy ones from the antipasti bar. Call me crazy! And please, pick up some proper cocktail picks. An olive (or three) on a toothpick that sinks to the bottom of your glass is just sad.