Classic Vodka Martini Cocktail Recipe

Teddy Francisco
Last Updated on
by Teddy Francisco

Many bartenders insist that the original recipe for martinis calls for gin. While that version is equally delicious, there’s just something special about the Vodka Martini that makes it worthwhile.

Classic Vodka Martini Cocktail Recipe

Learn how to mix the best Vodka Martini below.

Vodka Martini Ingredients and Mixing Instructions

Vodka Martini Cocktail

Some people think this cocktail requires just vodka topped with a garnish like olive juice. Not exactly.

Here’s what you’ll need to make a classic Vodka Martini:

  • 2 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • a dash of orange bitters
  • Olives or lemon peel for garnish

It’s an easy cocktail that doesn’t require a lot of fuss. Add all your ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake for 20-30 seconds.

Strain to a martini glass, and add your garnish.

Types of Martini Cocktails

You can mix three types of Vodka Martinis:

  • Dry martini: Skip the dry vermouth, or just add a small amount to your drink.
  • Wet martini: This is the classic version that’s generous with vermouth.
  • Dirty martini: It adds savory flavors like with the olives.

All three are great contenders, and choosing between them comes down to personal taste. Give them all a shot to find out which one you like best.

Nutrition Facts

Here’s what you’ll get for one glass of Vodka Martini:

  • 250 calories
  • 1g total fat (0.1g saturated fat)
  • 74mg sodium
  • 4g carbs
  • 0.1g protein
  • Around 20% ABV

Top Serving Tips and Tricks

If you want to mix the perfect Vodka Martini, consider these key tips:

  • Use high-quality vodka: Unlike its gin counterpart, vodka has a neutral flavor, and the point of it is to let the other ingredients in the Vodka Martini shine. Use a quality bottle to avoid any unnecessary aromas from creeping into your drink.
  • Foods: The Vodka Martini pairs well with sweet and salty foods. Serve it next to seafood, fish, or chicken to underline its signature bitter taste.
  • Stir or shake: Stirred and shaken Vodka Martinis are completely different, so definitely give them both a try. If you’re having a few friends over, the stirred martini cocktail is faster to make, so your guests won’t have to wait too long to sip their martini drink.

Vodka Martini Recipe Variations

Making Dry Vodka Martini

Tweaking the ingredients here and there can lead you to other great cocktail recipes such as:

  • Gin Martini: Of course, swapping the vodka with gin is the first variation to consider. The distinct aromas of juniper make the Gin Martini a refreshing drink everyone should try at least once.
  • Dickory Dock Cocktail: This cocktail uses the vodka and orange bitters from the martini recipe and adds rosemary honey, lemon, and cranberry juice to the mixing glass. Top with lemon zest or extra honey for added sweetness if you want.
  • Touch of fruit: Splash different types of juice into your martinis to make the perfect summer drink. Use pomegranate, cranberry, orange, lemon, or anything sweet and sour.
  • Toppings: Garnish the vodka martini with more creative toppings like chocolate syrup, apple slices, cucumbers, or even pickled onions. Choosing the toppings comes down to personal preference, but the Vodka Martinis allow both sweet and savory garnishes.


The Vodka Martini is a classic drink for a reason, no matter what gin purists say. Mix yourself a dry vodka martini to see how these spirits pair with orange bitters or be more generous with the dry vermouth to create a wet martini.

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Teddy Francisco
Teddy Francisco
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