Ah, the martini, one of the most famous cocktails worldwide. This cocktail was originally made to honor Martini & Rossi, a brand of Vermouth founded by Alessandro Marone Cinzano and Gaspare Campari in 1847.
And look at how far it’s gotten, as you can see it in almost every bar no matter where you go!
This sophisticated and glamorous-looking drink may look intimidating if you have never had one in your life. And if you’re ready to get one, you may wonder, “What does a martini taste like?”
Expect strong flavors from the alcohols used for the martini, gin, and Vermouth (or vodka, if you replaced gin). You will also taste different flavors depending on the martini variant prepared.
You obviously won’t want to look surprised when you first take a sip! Learn what to expect here.
What is a Martini?
We mentioned a bit of the history of the martini above, but there are actually many other different origin stories. Regardless, this classic cocktail is a staple in bars worldwide and is referred to a lot in pop culture, like James Bond!
A martini is made by pouring gin over ice with a splash of Vermouth, then finished with your garnish of choice. Olive is one of the most common choices for the salty flavor it brings to the martini. However, you can also use other garnishes like a lemon peel, giving it more of a twist.
Fun fact: Bartenders sometimes stuff olives with cheese or jalapeno for an extra kick! The different variants of martinis include dry, wet, dirty, and perfect martinis.
What Does a Martini Taste Like?
At martini’s most basic level, expect it to taste more like its major ingredient: Vodka or gin.
You’ll taste more juniper berries with crispness with the herbal, piney taste if using gin.
Think of the martini as a blank slate with subtly sweet, green flavors if you use vodka. You get more flavors from the Vermouth and garnishing!
You may also pick up the herbs and slightly dry and sweet taste from the Vermouth in the recipe. Plus, you’ll get a hint of the garnishes used to make the martini, particularly olives, which would make the drink slightly salty.
Because martinis are meant to be consumed as cold as possible, they will taste refreshing overall.
There are different factors to consider, though, such as:
- Amount and type of Vermouth used
- If you used gin or vodka
- Is it shaken or stirred? (*)
- Garnishes used
We recommend playing around and experimenting with your tastebuds, ordering different martinis on different occasions. That way, you can identify the best martini according to your tastebuds. Personally, we love a dry martini made of the traditional ingredients: gin, Vermouth, and olives!
Pro-tip: If you don’t like gin, go for vodka for “less flavor.” Some people find gin too salty or bitter.
Frequently Asked Questions
For those left with other questions about the martini, we hope to answer your queries below:
1. What’s the difference between wet and dry martini?
The dried martini is made of dry, white Vermouth. Wet martinis use more Vermouth than other variants, either using 50/50 gin and Vermouth or using more Vermouth than gin.
Fun fact: Dirty martinis have olive juice or brine decorated with olives. A perfect martini consists of an equal amount of dry and sweet Vermouth.
2. How do you order a martini?
Learn what kind of martini you want: wet, dry, dirty, or perfect. Then, ask about the gin selection if possible. Afterward, specify if you’d rather have it stirred or shaken.
Fun fact: You don't need to use the most expensive gin for martinis, as they most likely won't make a huge difference in taste. Focus more on the gin’s flavored profile.
Wrapping It Up
Did we answer your question, “what does a martini taste like?” If so, let us know what you think of the martini once you get a sip of it!
And if you’d like to learn more about what other cocktails taste like, we’ve got more in store for you here at Nomspedia, so take a look around our blog.