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John shares his recipe for a pre-Prohibition martini—a throwback to an era with petite drinks that were stirred, not shaken. 

John's Best At-Home Martini Secrets: 

1. How to chill a martini glass: Add ice and water to the glass before making the drink and pour out just before straining a cocktail into the glass.

2. The perfect proportion of gin to vermouth in a martini: A classic pre-Prohibition martini had more vermouth than today's martini. Today's martini, John says, is typically 5 to 6 ounces of vodka, just kissed with white vermouth. (Most people say a ratio of 4 or 5 to 1 is standard.) But a classic pre-Prohibition martini was a "small delicate drink," he says — with 2 ounces of gin for every ¾ ounce of vermouth. (Almost twice as much vermouth as today's preferred ratio.) 

3. When to stir instead of shake a cocktail: If the ingredients are clear (i.e., no juice, no cream, etc.), stir instead of shaking to keep the drink from becoming cloudy. 

Bonus: The secret ingredient in a proper martini is orange bitters. 

Try pairing this martini with Rach's Bacon-Cheddar Sirloin Burgers with Horseradish and Garlic

For another historic-inspired cocktail, check out the James Bond Vesper Martini John mixed up or go for a timeless classic—John's Filthy Dirty Martini


  • 2 ounces gin
  • ¾ ounce dry vermouth
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • Lemon twist, for garnish


Serves: 1


Combine gin, vermouth and orange bitters in a cocktail shaker, then fill with ice and stir to chill. Strain into a chilled martini glass, then garnish with a lemon twist.

Always drink responsibly.