3 Ways to Order a Martini

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3 Ways to Order a Martini
3 Ways to Order a Martini

Ordering a martini in style means using the correct jargon and understanding its meanings. Keep reading to learn more.


Method 1 of 3: Part 1: Know the Options

Order a Martini Step 1

Step 1. Learn the basics of martini

A classic martini is made with gin and vermouth garnished with an olive.

  • If you don't specify the concentration of gin or vermouth, the martini will be prepared with one serving of dry vermouth and four or five servings of gin.
  • Gin is an alcoholic beverage made from distilled grain or malt. The drink is also flavored with pine cones.
  • Vermouth is a liqueur made from wine, also known as fortified wine, flavored with an infusion of herbs, flowers, peppers and other ingredients.
Order a Martini Step 2

Step 2. Order vodka instead of gin

Although a classic martini is made with gin, it's a recent trend to opt for vodka. You can specify this change at the beginning of your order and it should be the first change you will make.

  • Vodka is an alcoholic beverage made from distilled rye, wheat or potato. It can also sometimes be made with fermented fruit and sugar, but this type of vodka is not used in martinis.
  • Older bars almost always use gin but in newer bars the bartender can use vodka by default. So it's always best to specify which drink you want your martini with.
Order a Martini Step 3

Step 3. Choose your brand of liquor

You'll usually be served the cheapest brand of gin or vodka available at the bar. If you have a preference for any brand, you must specify.

  • The cheapest and standard brand is said to be the "good".
  • If you don't have a favorite brand and aren't familiar with available brands, ask the bartender. You can choose one at random if you want to keep up appearances and pretend you know what you're talking about, or ask the bartender what he recommends.
  • If you decide to specify the brand you want, you only need to say the brand name and not the drink. For example, you will order a "Beefeater" and not "Beefeater gin". Likewise, you will ask for "Vox" and not "Vox vodka".
Order a Martini Step 4

Step 4. Change the content, preparation and presentation

Among the many ways you can customize your martini, you can change the proportion of gin and vermouth, the way the cocktail is mixed, and the decoration with which the martini will be served.

  • It's not enough to simply know what your options are; learn the jargon to make your martini experience more classy.
  • If you just order "a martini" some bartenders will ask you how you want it prepared, using the jargon. So, even if you want the drink as simple and generic as possible, you'll still need to know the related terms.

Method 2 of 3: Part 2: Learn the language

Order a Martini Step 5

Step 1. Order your martini wet, dry or extra dry

These terms refer to the proportion of gin or vodka and vermouth. If you don't specify what you want, you will be served a standard ratio martini.

  • A "wet" martini is a martini with more vermouth.
  • A dry martini refers to a martini with less vermouth.
  • Ordering an extra dry martini means you only want traces of vermouth, if at all. The bartender can just coat the glass with vermouth without it mixing with the drink.
Order a Martini Step 6

Step 2. Order dirty service

A "dirty" martini refers to a martini mixed with olives or brine.

The olive taste tends to be very strong and the drink itself is usually a little cloudy

Order a Martini Step 7

Step 3. Try your martini with a twisted rind or order a Gibson

A martini is usually served with an olive. You can change this ornament using the following terms.

  • Order your martini with a fruit rind spiral if you want it to be served with a lemon rind garnish instead of an olive.
  • If you decide to order your martini with an onion cocktail, the drink's name changes completely from martini to Gibson. In other words, you would order a Gibson, not a Gibson martini or an onion martini.
Order a Martini Step 8

Step 4. Choose a clean martini

A "clean" martini refers to a martini served unadorned.

On the one hand, if you want extra decorations - an extra olive, for example, you can order that too. Note that asking for olives or anything else extra doesn't have any special terminology

Order a Martini Step 9

Step 5. Take "on the rocks", pure or stirred

Your choice will determine whether your martini will contain ice or not.

  • In bar parlance, ordering a drink "on the rocks" means it will be served on ice. The drink will get colder but it can become watery with time.
  • If you order a straight martini, you are asking for the alcohol to be poured from the bottle straight into the glass without ice. As a result, the drink will be at room temperature and will not dissolve.
  • Ordering a stirred martini means that the gin or vodka will be cooled with ice, usually mixed or beaten, and strained into the glass without ice into the glass itself. This provides greater balance as the alcohol will be cooled but not diluted as the ice melts.
Order a Martini Step 10

Step 6. Make it sweet and perfect

Dry vermouth is the most commonly used type, but if you prefer something with a sweeter touch, here are two options you should know about.

  • Order your sweet martini if ​​you want the bartender to use sweet vermouth instead of dry vermouth.
  • Likewise, a perfect martini will use equal parts of dry and sweet vermouth, creating a balanced flavor.
Order a Martini Step 11

Step 7. Take a "naked" martini, scrambled or shaken

Your choice will determine how the gin or vodka will be mixed with the vermouth in your drink.

  • A stirred martini is the most traditional way of mixing a martini and in the best bars this is the standard way of making it. The alcohol is mixed into the glass with a stick. This produces a clear martini and, as many purists claim, a silkier texture as stirring does not break down the oils in the gin.
  • A shaken martini is mixed with a cocktail shaker, in which the drink is stirred back and forth. This is common in dirty martinis, but the downside is that when you whip it, the oils in the gin tend to separate, leading to a cloudier drink.
  • A "naked" martini refers to a martini in which all ingredients have been refrigerated in a freezer. The alcohol will be served straight into a chilled cocktail glass and served unmixed.

Method 3 of 3: Part 3: At the bar

Order a Martini Step 12

Step 1. Know what you want before approaching the bar

In a crowded bar, good etiquette means knowing what you want before approaching the bartender. A good bar won't rush you, but you should still know as much as you want before talking to the bartender.

  • One possible exception, however, is if you're asking the bartender about the brands of gin or vodka available.
  • Also note that if the bar is not very crowded you may take a little longer to place your order, especially if no one else is ordering.
Order a Martini Step 13

Step 2. Get the bartender's attention

Have a firm but polite presence. The most appropriate way to get the bartender's attention is to stand at a spot on the counter where you can be seen. Make eye contact and offer a smile. These actions should be enough to tell a good bartender to pick you up as soon as he's available.

  • When placing an order for someone else, make sure you know what the person wants before going to the bar. Don't come back to ask for his or her order after you've already caught the bartender's attention. However, if you are asking other people besides yourself, you should have enough money on hand. But don't be showing off the money as this is considered rude.
  • Never try to get the bartender's attention with money by snapping your fingers or yelling.
Order a Martini Step 14

Step 3. Put it all together

Once you've caught the bartender's attention, it's time to tell him what you want. Use the jargon you've learned to order your martini. Start with the base and specify your preferred concentration of vermouth, indicate if you want ice, ask for your decoration and finish by telling the bartender how to mix the drink.

  • For example, order a martini with Beefeater, extra dry, with a fruit peel spiral and stirred if you want a martini made with beefeater brand gin and very little vermouth. It will have a lemon spiral and the gin will be cooled with ice before being poured into the glass.
  • As another example, order a martini dirty with vodka, wet and shaken if you want a martini made with the cheapest vodka in the bar, extra vermouth and brine. The drink will have the standard olive decoration and will be stirred with ice in a shaker.


  • Do not drink if you are under the legal age. In Brazil this age is 18 years old.
  • Drink responsibly. Do not drive after drinking and do not attempt any dangerous tasks when your senses are impaired.

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