Martinis are one of the most famous cocktails. They are simple and can be customized to suit your tastes. The Martini can be made in many different ways, including extra dry, dirty, with a twist, or with some olives. It’s about the gin. This spirit is the star of the show. You can use a variety of gins in a Martini. These include London dry, Western and citrus-forward varieties. To find out which types of Gin they recommend, we spoke with top bartenders.
Best Overall: Beefeater
“Beefeater is a love/hate affair with some, because it’s seen as your grandfathers gin,” said Craig Schoettler executive director for beverage & corporate mixologist at MGM Resorts . It is, however, one of the best gins available, according to my opinion. It is an excellent representation of London dry Gin, and perhaps one of the most iconic examples. Its wide shoulders are in perfect harmony with dry vermouth in Martini.
Sipsmith is the best for dry Martini:
James Bolt, the owner of The Gin Joint in Charleston SC, says that “The Martini” is a personal drink for each customer. I prefer a dry Martini, so when making one for myself, I always use Sipsmith London dry. This is a London dry style Gin with great balance of citrus and juniper. You will also find subtle floral notes, which add a lovely touch to the classic Martini.
Best Budget: Boodles
Hristo Zisovski is the beverage director at Altamarea Group and loves Boodles’ savory herbal flavors. He says that the Martini should be garnished using fresh lemon juice because it doesn’t contain citrus. “That fresh addition accents the perfect Martini because the gin’s recipe contains no citrus.” Boodles is a very affordable gin that retails for about $25 per bottle.
Best Splurge: Nikka Coffey Gin
Kevin Reilly, Taub Family Outpost’s Beverage Director, believes that a dry Martini tastes best when it has just a twist and no olives. He says that he is a huge fan of lemon twist Martini and enjoys citrus-forward spirits. Nikka, a great Japanese whisky producer, is one of my favorite gins. The Japanese citrus yuzu and amanatsu are the highlights of the botanical blend in this Coffey still Gin.
Best Citrus-Forward: Tanqueray Malacca
“The classic Gin Martini needs some juniper, but I prefer the exotic and citric tendencies of Tanqueray malacca gin,” Kat Hawkins, beverage manager for Shaw’s Crab House in Chicago. It is based upon a recipe that dates back to the 1800s and has juniper pop.
Cadenhead Old Raj Dry Gin – Best High Proof
“Old Raj 110 is my favorite gins to make Martinis, aside from a classic London dry,” Tyson Buhler says. He is the national beverage director of Death & Co. Although this gin is more alcoholic than other gins, it retains subtle flavors. The juniper’s aroma is more subtle, and it has a strong orange peel and spice. To temper the high proof, I prefer to use a higher amount of vermouth than usual. This works especially well with vermouths that have some sweetness like a blanc or an Italian sweet vermouth.
Hayman’s Gin London Dry is the best for Dirty Martini
Gabriel Figueroa is assistant restaurant director at Vestry. “Hayman’s London Dry gin is very balanced and steeped for 24 hours with ten botanicals,” he said. You get the classic juniper taste, but with a little bit of sweetness and citrus that adds depth and complexity. It is able to withstand the bitter notes of a dirty Martini thanks to this.