Dry? Extra dry? Shaken? Stirred? Today is National Martini Day and this month, we’re craving and ordering it—big time. While every one of us takes this cocktail a little different, it’s still the iconic drink of our times. Martinis aren’t for you? Chances are, you just haven’t experimented enough to find YOUR martini. Read on, and we’ll teach you how.

Made famous by the debonair James Bond (Shaken, not stirred), the martini is so personal that it’s never mixed exactly the same way twice. That’s because although this drink looks clear and simple, it’s not. There are actually five basic elements to martini-making and altering even one ever so slightly alters the taste. Ordering (and mixing) a martini is both an art and a science. These aren’t your average Cosmos or Appletinis, served in martini glasses. No, we’re talking The Real Thing here. This drink is straight up gin or vodka with a splash of vermouth.

Follow these 5 steps to ordering your next martini to show that dashing bartender you’re a pro.

1. Call your SPIRIT of choice. You want a super premium product like Belvedere or Beefeater 24. Drink the good stuff because a martini is nearly all liquor and you’ll definitely taste your spirit of choice.

2. Let the bartender know HOW you want your alcohol handled. It’s time to pull a James Bond. Ask for it stirred (which lends a very luxurious texture), shaken (like a polaroid picture) or straight (no chilling over ice).

3. Call your VERMOUTH of choice. If you like a slightly sweeter note, ask for a sweeter vermouth such as Lillet Blanc or to keep it dry, go with Noilly Prat.

4. Specify whether you want it DRY OR WET. A dry martini has more vodka than vermouth and a wet martini can have as much as 1 to 1 ratio of vodka to vermouth. A safe choice may be a 1 to 3.

5. Know your GARNISH. Have some fun depending on your mood. Or ask for an olive or a lemon twist and stay classic. A well-made martini is crisp, satisfying and can makes you feel – you got it – brazen. So next time you’re craving a drink, look that bartender straight in the eye and explain EXACTLY how you want yours made. To you, Girl.

MARTINI TIP: Try our Brazen version, a Stirred Belvedere Martini, 3 to 1 with Lillet Blanc and an olive garnish and you’ll be hooked. As Johnny Carson once said: Happiness is…finding two olives in your martini when you’re hungry.

Featured image found on Pinterest at foodrepublic.com

About the author

Yashy Murphy

World traveller, wine guzzler and cocktail shaker; always on the prowl for new adventures in the concrete world, all with a baby on the hip. Having recently swapped marketing alcoholic beverages for juggling martinis and diapers at home, Yashy's got a drink for every occasion. You can find her lusting after the next travel opportunity and sharing food and drink recommendations alongside kid friendly events happening in Toronto on her blog as well as on Twitter and Instagram.

Get Brazen In Your Inbox

Sign up to receive our daily or weekly newsletter.