Martini vs Dirty Martini

Martini and Dirty Martini are two among the most popular cocktail in the world. These drinks are invented since decades ago or probably longer and still consumes until today for their distinctive tastes. If you are interested on both of them and want to know more how they differ from each other, go check our article below.

In this article we are going to give you information about:
– What is Martini and Dirty Martini
– How Many Martini Variants Out There
– How to make Dirty Martini
– How to Order your Martini
– Martini vs Dirty Martini

About Martini
Martini is a type of cocktail made from the combination of two alcoholic beverages; commonly gin and vermouth or vodka and vermouth but the latter is usually called with Vodka Martini. Gin is an alcoholic beverage made from juniper berries while Vermouth is an aromatized and fortified wine with some flavors added. Martini is one of the most popular cocktail in the world and almost all people recognize the beverage.

Some may already experience the taste and some may get it from movies or other references. Depending on the measurement a Martini alcohol content may range from 37% to 42%. Martini’s origin is not clear yet but the term may come from an Italian Vermouth brand marketed in 1863, which named Martini after its director’s name Alessandro Martini. You will also find similar cocktail recipe in 19th century bartending guides but with more ingredients.

Martini Variants
As our title above said, we are going to compare Martini with Dirty Martini. But first let us divide it into the basic or common types. Martini can be made with lots of varieties and you might be already know it when hearing other people ordering their Martini expertly with terms you are not familiar to. Even though the most popular Martini is the combination in 2:1 of London dry Gin and dry Vermouth, there are three basic types of Martini.

Dry Martini, this beverage is just like its name. It is made by combining Gin and dry white Vermouth. The amount of Vermouth used keep decreasing over the years from 3:1 to even 100:1. A perfect Martini, this beverage is made by combining the same amount Gin and dry, sweet Vermouth or Vodka. (Read also : Gin vs Vodka)

About Dirty Martini
The last is Dirty Martini, this one used additional ingredients. For starter it is still made with Gin and Vermouth but with extra ingredient namely olive brine or juice and typically garnish with an olive. Dirty Martini is probably as popular as other Martini types. However, this variant is said to be easier to mess up since the additional ingredient, which is the olive brine will makes the drink too salty or have a musty smell if not properly measured or use the correct type.

Dirty Martini was invented during late 20th Century in Knickerbocker Bar in Manhattan. The recipe was very simple with only combining half gin and half vermouth with a dash of bitters then stirred with ice and serve with olive garnish. The olive juice or brine used in Dirty Martini according to some source was the creation of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who is known to love drinking.

How to Prepare Dirty Martini
Here is a nice and simple Dirty Martini recipe took from bbcfood. First, prepare all the ingredients in exact measure, such as 70 ml vodka or gin, 1-tablespoon dry vermouth (preferred London dry vermouth), 2-tablespoon olive brine, 1 wedge of lemon, and 1 green olive.

To prepare it, pour all the liquid (gin, dry vermouth, and olive brine) into a cocktail shaker together with ice and shake well. Before serving it, don’t forget to rub rim your preferred glass with the wedge of lemon and pour the mixture from the shaker into the glass. The last is garnish the beverage with the olive.

Martini Customization
Not only limited to those three options, you practically can order your Martini however you like; you might be already familiar with some of those special terms, but some of you may not. So we are going to describe simply some of popular terms you can try to custom your drink next time.
– Decide whether you want gin or vodka as the base of your drink. If the herb flavor in gin taste too strong for you, you may try vodka instead.
– Decide whether you want it dry, perfect or wet. Dry will use less vermouth and more gin/vodka; wet martini uses more vermouth than gin/vodka; and perfect is 50:50.
– Decide whether you want it to be shaken or stirred. Shaken will give your drink a bit of ice shards while stir will make your beverage taste smoother as well as less ice shards.
– Straight up or on the rocks. Straight up means that your drink will be served on tall martini glasses that have been chilled while on the rocks means your beverage will be served on serving glass over ice.
– Decide whether you want your beverage with a twist or not. With a twist is simply putting a garnish on your beverage. The classic garnish is usually an olive on a skewer or lemon peel.
– Aside from Dirt Martini, you can order another two types namely Gibson and Vesper. The latter is perfect for those who want to order their drink like James Bond in Casino Royale. Gibson is made with either gin or vodka but instead using traditional garnish, it is twist with a pearl onion. Vesper is made with a combination of gin, vodka, and Kina Lillet, which is a bitter wine aperitif. Since Kina Lillet is getting rarer these days, people start to substitute it with Cocchi Americano.

Now, let’s compare between Martini and Dirty Martini. The most prominent difference is Martini term is used to cover all types of Martini cocktail while Dirt Martini is used to call Martini that garnished and made with olive brine/juice and olive. You can differentiate them easily when looking at the beverage. From the preparing side, Dirty Martini also harder to create since it uses more ingredients than just Martini. The combination of olive brine/juice is said to be hard to control and often lead to unpleasant smell and taste if put too much.

Martini vs Dirty Martini
MartiniDirty Martini
- Made only with gin/vodka and vermouth- Made with gin/vodka, olive brine/juice and vermouth
- Doesn’t used garnish- Used olive as garnish
- Invented earlier than its variation Dirty Martini- Invented later as a variant of Martini

All in all, the decision is all yours to make. You can’t decide which is tastier before trying them one by one and see yourself which suit your taste the most. However, if you don’t like the taste of olive or brine, you may want to choose other variants beside Dirty Martini.