If you’re someone who tends to keep your coffee orders pretty straightforward, best to follow suit and stick to the classic version of this cocktail, too: stirred, with gin. That’s the original recipe for the drink, and the one that most bartenders default to. The typical execution is to mix gin with a splash of dry vermouth — about a 3:1 ratio. Dry martinis tone down the amount of vermouth, while wet renditions amp it up. A perfect martini combines gin with the typical portions of both sweet and dry vermouths, but in our books, that’s too much vermouth — not really perfect at all.
Shaken martinis are another step in the wrong direction, because they typically introduce more ice water into your drink, and chill it so much as to take away from the smooth flavours of the alcohol being used. But of course, James Bond made them sound cool, so they have their own devoted following.
As for swapping vodka for gin — again, it’s not the most authentic variation, and gin’s flavours tend to make for a more interesting complement to vermouth. But if vodka’s your drink of choice, there’s something to be said for making a drink your own. Bond certainly did.