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What is Martini and how is it made?

by Honest & Rare Editorial Team
Was ist Martini und wie wird er hergestellt?

The most important facts summarized for you:

  • Martini is the classic name for an alcoholic cocktail
  • In its best-known version, the cocktail consists of gin and vermouth and is stirred over ice
  • Martini is also the name of a well-known vermouth brand from the Italian manufacturer Martini & Rossi
  • This product is drunk straight or used in the preparation of various cocktails.

What exactly is Martini?

Shaken, not stirred - when you think of Martini, do you inevitably think of James Bond and the famous quote? You're probably not alone. However, the name Martini is an ambivalent term and describes both the legendary cocktail and the products of the well-known Italian brand Martini & Rossi. We would like to offer you a comprehensive overview and are therefore deliberately taking a closer look at both aspects.

Klassischerweise wird ein Martini-Cocktail aus Gin, trockenem Vermouth und Olive zubereitet
Traditionally, a Martini cocktail is made with gin, dry vermouth and olives

A legendary cocktail

The classic martini in a conical martini glass enjoys worldwide popularity and has even established itself as an unmistakable symbol for the term cocktail. Unfortunately, it is not known who invented this drink. There are various myths surrounding its creation, but the origins can be traced back to the 19th century and are believed to be in the USA.

The preparation of the cocktail is sometimes the subject of heated debate. Basically, the cocktail consists of gin and vermouth (also known as vermouth); a combination of vodka and vermouth, also known as vodka katini, is less common. Incidentally, the latter is the favorite drink of James Bond, who prefers his vodkatini shaken and iced, but without ice.

Craving a stylish cocktail or a cool long drink? Discover the unique taste of Martini now - with the matching gins!

High-quality gins to mix or enjoy neat:

Martini & Rossi: aperitifs from Piedmont

Founded in 1863 and based in the picturesque town of Chieri near Turin, the company has been known worldwide for its full-bodied aperitifs since the 19th century. The name of the company is made up of the surnames of the company founders Alessandro Martini and Luigi Rossi.

Martini vermouth is a liqueur wine flavored with various herbs, which is available on the market in different versions. The bitter aromatic substances of the eponymous wormwood herb (Artemisia absinthium) are particularly characteristic in terms of taste. The term is protected under EU Regulation No. 251/2014. A drink labeled as vermouth must meet the following requirements:

Der Drink von Martini & Rossi ist ein aromatisierter Likörwein
The Martini & Rossi drink is an aromatized liqueur wine

  • flavored wine
  • Alcohol content: between 14.5 and 22% vol.
  • contains substances extracted from Artemisia species (characterize the aroma)

The sugar content can vary greatly depending on the variety.

How are the aperitifs made?

The exact recipe for the different Martini varieties is a secret, which is why the manufacturer is rather reluctant to provide insights into the production process. Accordingly, only high-quality ingredients such as selected wines and various botanicals are used, which are processed into the end product in a complex blending process. However, the basic production steps do not differ in any way from classic production and the wormwood herb is also included. To give you a better insight, we will describe the common vermouth production process below.

Die Grundlage des Vermouth und somit auch des Martinis bildet das Wermut-Kraut
The vermouth herb forms the basis of vermouth and therefore also of martini

In order to achieve the legally prescribed alcohol content, producers usually add alcohol or grape must to the wines first. The latter also serves to achieve the desired sweetness. The desired sugar content can also be achieved by adding caramelized sugar. In addition to wormwood, other botanicals such as herbs, fruits and spices are usually soaked in neutral alcohol for several weeks. This extract is then added to the wine. Martini & Rossi uses fresh white wines from Italy, such as Trebbiano and Cataratto.

High-quality vermouth for mixing or drinking neat:

What are the main Martini varieties?

Dry Martini

  • Dominant juniper aroma with a fruity, tart vermouth note
  • is prepared from 6 cl gin and 1 cl dry (white) vermouth
  • Garnish: lemon peel or olive
  • is stirred with ice cubes and then served without ice in a martini glass

Vodka martini (or vodka martini)

  • Fine vermouth flavor with light vanilla and citrus notes
  • is made from 5 cl vodka and 1.5 cl dry (white) vermouth
  • is shaken with ice in a cocktail shaker and served without ice in a glass
  • Garnish: lemon peel or olive

Ob du deinen Martini mit Zitrone oder Olive garnierst, hängt nur von deinem Geschmack ab
Whether you garnish your martini with lemon or olive depends entirely on your taste

Sweet Martini

  • Dominant juniper aroma and slightly sweet fruit and herb notes
  • is made from 6 cl gin and 1 cl red vermouth
  • Garnish: lemon peel or olive
  • Sweeter version of the classic cocktail
  • is stirred with ice cubes
  • you serve this drink without ice in a classic martini glass

Dirty Martini

  • Similar to the classic dry martini, but with a strong, spicy nuance
  • Prepare and garnish in the same way as the classic version
  • add 1 cl of olive brine (brine from the olive glass)
  • the drink is slightly cloudy due to the olive brine

Der Dirty Martini Cocktail erhält seine Trübung durch die beigemischte Olivenlake
The Dirty Martini cocktail gets its cloudiness from the added olive brine

Incidentally, the Dirty Martini is said to have been the favorite cocktail of American President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt. In addition to these candidates, there are many other variations - there are virtually no limits to the imagination of cocktail lovers.

How do you drink a Martini?

Martini is a cocktail and is therefore drunk as a drink. You can enjoy the products from the manufacturer Martini & Rossi neat or as a cocktail. Tonic and the Rosso, Bianco, Rosato or Fiero varieties, for example, can be used to mix wonderfully light and sparkling long drinks.

Mittlerweile gibt es Abwandlungen des klassischen Martini, die fast so berühmt sind wie der Kult-Cocktail selbst - so wie der Espresso Martini zum Beispiel.
There are now variations of the classic Martini that are almost as famous as the cult cocktail itself - such as the Espresso Martini, for example.

A Dry Vermouth is the ideal base for the legendary Dry Martini. It consists of 6 cl gin and 1 cl dry vermouth. Purists use London Dry Gin for this classic and serve it stirred in a conical martini glass. This stylish cocktail is usually garnished with an olive, but you can also use a piece of lemon peel as an alternative.

Want to browse further? Here you will find all gins, vermouths and vodkas as well as other high-proof rarities: To the spirits range


About the autor:

Honest & Rare Editorial Team

Honest & Rare Editorial Team


Some things can only be accomplished as a team. Just like this article here! That's why we mark all jointly created articles as editorial contributions. Cheers!

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