Vodka Martini

Vodka Martini

The Spruce Eats

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
148 Calories
0g Fat
1g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Amount per serving
Calories 148
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 0g
Calcium 2mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The vodka martini is a fantastic and easy cocktail to mix up. Not only is it the perfect way to show off a premium vodka, but it's also the foundation for every other vodka martini. This is one of the super drinks of the bar and a cocktail that everyone should try and master.

The vodka martini's popularity rivals that of the classic gin martini, which inspired it. It is the drink of choice for many who want a clean, dry martini without the aromatic botanicals of gin. Just like its predecessor, it can—and should—be adapted to suit your personal taste.


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Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Vodka Martini ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

    Vodka Martini recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Vodka Martini
     The Spruce
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

    Vodka Martini
     The Spruce
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist or olives.

    Vodka Martini Final
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  6. Serve and enjoy!


  • The vodka you choose will either make or break this cocktail because there is nothing to disguise a bad vodka. The words "cheap" and "vodka martini" should not be used together. Use the best vodka you have in the bar and use this recipe to test out new premium brands.
  • Make sure your vermouth is fresh. Unlike distilled spirits, the fortified wine has a limited shelf life of just three months once the bottle is open. Get in the habit of writing the open date on bottles and replace your vermouth regularly to ensure the best vodka martini.
  • Bitters are optional, but a nice addition. Orange and aromatic bitters are often preferred, but there are many fascinating new bitters on the market. Try lavender, lemon, or peach bitters. Even celery can make an interesting martini.
  • The typical garnish is either a lemon twist or a few olives. Both add an extra layer of flavor to the otherwise transparent cocktail, so it's often best to include one or the other.
  • There is an old bar superstition that an even number of olives is bad luck. Plus, one large or three small olives is more visually pleasing than two.

The History of the Vodka Martini

Originally called the kangaroo, the vodka martini was among the many cocktails that U.S. bartenders created when vodka first found a larger American market in the 1950s. Like many of the first vodka cocktails, it was simply a recreation of a gin cocktail using a vodka base.

Vodka's growing popularity coincided with drinkers' changing tastes. The famous "three-martini lunch" was a little less noticeable with vodka than an aromatic gin. Drinks like the Moscow mule fueled vodka's surge and helped the martini rise to greatness. Today, you almost always have to distinguish whether you want gin or vodka in your martini.

How Much Vermouth?

Over the years, the vodka martini began to lose its dry vermouth. Often, it didn't even make it into the glass—despite the contradiction, it's called a "dry vodka martini." The ratio of 3:1 vodka-vermouth gives the drink some depth. 

Of course, you can adjust this to your taste. Keep at least a hint of vermouth, otherwise, it's simply vodka straight up. If vermouth is not your favorite, try rinsing the glass with it, then dump out the excess. It's essentially seasoning the glass and you may find it very enjoyable.

Experimentation is great and today's vodka market has opened up a whole new world of options for martinis. As you explore the various brands, you may need to tweak the ratio a bit to find the perfect recipe for each combination.

It is something that each drinker has to play with and explore for themselves. Let's be honest; finding your ideal vodka martini is not the worst task in the world!

How Strong Is the Vodka Martini?

The vodka martini follows suit with the gin martini, Manhattan, and other liquor-vermouth cocktails: They're not light drinks! With an 80-proof vodka and the average vermouth in this recipe's ratio, it mixes up to about 28 percent ABV (56 proof). To put that into perspective, two martinis are stronger than a straight shot of vodka. Sip slowly and know your personal limit.