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Try these cocktail variations of the classic gin Martini

The Martini is a classic cocktail. And like most things that have been around a while, people have been mixing up their own versions for decades. Stirred, shaken, sweet, sour or savoury. Gin, vodka, dry or dirty. Everyone loves a Martini a little differently.

Many takes on the original recipe have become classics in their own right – take the Espresso Martini for example – even if only for using the same glass.

So whether you want to keep things simple or go big on a new flavour, here’s our favourite variations on the Martini.

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DRY Martini

It doesn’t get more classic than a Dry Martini. This iconic recipe uses gin and dry vermouth to get a clean, bitter taste that highlights the gin’s botanicals. Giving it the name ‘dry’ not only refers to the type of vermouth, but also the quantity, using less than a standard Martini.


There’s plenty of discussion about what ratio and garnish to use. Here at Beefeater, we prefer to let our London Dry Gin do the talking, using 50 ml to 5 ml of dry vermouth and a thin orange twist.


Wet Martini

If you want more vermouth, then a Wet Martini should be your order. This variation has gone out of style, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a go. You’ll typically get a 3:1 ratio of gin to dry vermouth, which increases the floral sweetness.


Reverse Martini

This variation is the opposite of a Dry Martini. Rather than focusing on gin, the Reverse Martini (or Upside-Down Martini) flips the proportions of ingredients, instead using more dry vermouth. The garnish (and whether you shake or stir) is up to you.


Perfect Martini

If you order a Perfect Martini, you might get this variation instead. Rather than solely relying on dry vermouth to bring the sweetness, it uses a technique called splitting the vermouth, using both sweet and dry in equal proportions. Some recipes also call for a teaspoon of maraschino liqueur for extra fruity flavour.

Sweet Martini

Swap from dry to sweet when you order a Sweet Martini. As the name suggests, this recipe uses sweet vermouth instead of dry, creating the sweetest variation of a Martini you can get without adding additional ingredients.

Dirty Martini

The Dirty Martini is a classic in its own right. Not much changes in the recipe aside from the addition of olive brine and olive garnish. This creates a seriously savoury drink that has very little sweetness.


Blood Orange Martini cocktail recipe - Beefeater Gin


Martinis are great for making fruity. And this one’s one of our favourites. The Blood Orange Martini is sweet, delicious and easy to make, with a rich red colour that stands out. Use Beefeater Blood Orange Gin mixed with sherry, sweet vermouth and a dash of bitters to balance out the sweetness.


The Martinez is a mid-way drink that sits between a classic Martini and Manhattan cocktail. Using equal parts gin and sweet vermouth, it starts with a richer base. Plus maraschino liqueur and bitters for a dry cherry flavour.


Mix up your garnishes and you create a whole new cocktail. Just like the Gibson, a classic Dry Martini combination of gin and dry vermouth, garnished with a pickled onion. 

Originally a dash of orange bitters was added to the recipe, but these days it’s only the cocktail onion that gives it the Gibson name.

Orange Espresso Martini

Once you’ve played with garnishes and ratios, it’s time to get experimental. The Espresso Martini is a famously beloved take on the classic Martini cocktail, adding coffee liqueur and a foamy top. But don’t stop there. 

Try our Orange Espresso Martini, made with blood orange gin and a grated orange zest finish. It’s fun, fruity and full of flavour. Perfect for festive occasions or when you fancy something out of the ordinary.


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Grapefruit Martini

Make things bittersweet with a Grapefruit Martini. This extra refreshing Martini variation uses Beefeater Crown Jewel Gin to elevate the cocktail’s citrus notes. 

Pour into a chilled glass with two dashes of dry vermouth and gently squeeze fresh grapefruit zest over the liquid before using to garnish.

Gin Cosmopolitan

A Cosmopolitan isn’t too far from a Martini. Especially when you stick to gin. Using our Rhubarb and Cranberry flavoured gin, our Gin Cosmopolitan is a modern take on the original recipe. It’s sweet, fruity and city chic.

Lemon Cosmo

Not quite ready to go full Cosmo? Try our Lemon Cosmopolitan, a light, citrus drink that’s perfect for summer sipping. It’s a combination between the original recipe and a gin Martini. Made with lemon flavoured gin, white grape juice and Italicus.


If you’re out of vermouth or want to mix up a Martini in a new way, don’t miss the Saketini. This fun take on the classic cocktail replaces vermouth with sake for a sweeter, full-rounded finish. It’s fun to say and fun to make, great for serving to guests as a surprise aperitif.

Blood Orange Cosmopolitan

We’re back on the Cosmos and this time we’re mixing citrus with a classic cranberry juice combo. The Blood Orange Cosmopolitan combines blood orange gin, orange liqueur and an orange twist garnish to keep things vibrant. Whilst lime juice adds freshness to every sip.

Bee’s Knees

The Bee’s Knees is a classic cocktail that doesn’t stray too far from a Martini. Gin, lemon juice and honey are the key ingredients. It’s soft, soothing and sweet for every season. Use our lemon flavoured gin for extra zesty flavour.


A close cousin to the Martini, the Gimlet is another classic gin cocktail that calls for just two ingredients. Instead of vermouth, this lighter serve uses fresh lime juice for a citrus twist. And if you want things sweeter, you can always pour in a dash of sugar syrup.

Gin Lemon Drop

Sticking to zesty flavours, the Lemon Drop Martini is a favourite for lemon cocktail lovers. Simple syrup, lemon juice and a dash of triple sec add fresh, citrus flavour to the botanical notes of dry gin. With a sugar rim garnish for extra sweetness. 



From classic Martinis to more modern serves, we’ve got plenty more gin cocktail recipes to try. Discover our best gin mixers and easy gin cocktails as well as a guide to gin garnishes to elevate your drinks at home.

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