Martini Time: Learn the Different Types of Martinis

April 22, 2021

Among the list of classic cocktails, the martini is at the top of the list, being a fan favorite. Effortlessly elegant yet customizable enough to never get boring, martinis are a beverage that are sure to surpass the most recent craze of unique craft cocktails. Yet, regardless of the martini’s widely known fame, there is still some confusion on what exactly makes a martini–and what are the differences between the variety? The professional bar service of Durham, POUR Bar Services is here to enlighten you on what it takes for a cocktail to be considered a martini, and provide you with a guide on the different options available when ordering the classic beverage. 

Gin or Vodka

When ordering a martini, the bartender’s first question will most likely be whether you prefer the drink to be made with gin or vodka. Traditionally, martinis are crafted by mixing gin and dry vermouth together. Recently, however, vodka martinis have been increasing in popularity. The deciding factor when choosing a spirit is whether you enjoy the juniper flavor of gin or the refreshing taste of vodka. 

Dry, Perfect, or Wet

The next step in constructing your perfect martini, is declaring the amount and what type of vermouth you want in your cocktail. A classic martini, or a wet martini, is when you prefer an equal ratio of gin and dry vermouth. A “perfect” martini on the other hand is made with equal parts dry and sweet vermouth and then mixed with vodka or gin. Lastly, when ordering a martini “dry” this doesn’t mean that you want more dry vermouth–instead it means that you want less. 


Bartender services such as POUR will then ask you if you prefer to have your martini “dirty” or with a twist. Classic martinis are typically crystal clear because only clear fluids are used to make them. When ordering a “dirty” martini, the bar service will pour a splash of olive juice into the mixture, which transforms the cocktail into a sip of savory. 

Shaken or Stirred

Ordering a martini “shaken” means the alcohol will be shaken in a cocktail shaker with ice before straining it into your glass. When ordering a martini shaken, small pieces of ice may end up in your glass, so to prevent this order it stirred. “Stirred” means the gin will be placed in a cocktail shaker with ice and gently stirred before being strained into a glass. Stirred martinis tend to be smoother and retain more of the flavor of the liquor. 

Straight Up or On the Rocks

This step in ordering your martini depends on the type of glassware you are wanting the bartender services to put your cocktail in. “Straight up” or simply, “up” will have your beverage served in the familiar tall, skinny stemmed, martini glasses with the liquid chilled. “On the rocks” means that it will be served in a tumbler over ice. 

With a Twist or Olive

Lastly, this refers to the garnish you would like in your martini. Classic martinis are typically either garnished with an olive or multiple olives on a skewer for a savory infusion. While ordering your cocktail “with a twist” means that your cocktail will come with a piece of lemon rind giving your martini a bit of a citrusy taste. 

Dirty, shaken, or with a twist, no matter the way you and your guests prefer to order a martini, POUR Bar Services, Raleigh’s best professional bar service is here to ensure that the beverages served are exactly what you enjoy. For experienced cocktail crafting and event bartender services, POUR Bar Services is here to serve you. 

POUR Bar Services 

No matter the extent of the event you are holding, POUR Bar Services is prepared to set the BAR high by going above and beyond in making the best custom cocktails, a great customer experience, and a time to be remembered. For more information, to book a service, or to speak with one of our experienced POUR staff members contact us today! Cheers!