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Which Came First: The Vodka or Gin Martini?

Cocktails come and go, but some cocktails withstand the test of time. The martini is an example of such a cocktail, being beloved for nearly 140 years. If you’re new to the cocktail scene, you’re in the right place. Today, we are answering some of the most frequently asked cocktail-related questions, including whether the gin or vodka martini came first and what the best gin for cocktails is.



The gin martini came first. However, both liquors can be used to make a great martini. If you’re wondering whether gin or vodka makes a better martini, you’ll need to experiment and find out for yourself. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to cocktail preferences. If you’re a fan of modern flavors, you’ll probably prefer the smoothness of vodka, and it’s common to become a classic martini drinker after a few tries. If you’re searching for an authentic classic beverage, you will need to go with gin.

What’s the Difference Between Gin and Vodka Martini? 

Vodka and gin are pretty similar in that they both undergo distillation. They are also similar in that they both pair very well with dry vermouth, making each a decent choice if you want to make a martini. One of the significant differences between vodka and gin is that the former is flavorless other than the liquor itself, while the latter is definitely herbal. People say a very dry martini tastes great when you add a lemon twist to the flavor and have your drink shaken before taking it. Gin, on the other hand, doesn’t follow that direction like having a botanical flavor, but it also has its perks.

Differences between gin and vodka

In some areas, the grains are identical in other regions. In addition, vodka is a clear spirit that is made by distillation. This is a method that separates components in a mixture according to varying boiling points to give spirits an individual taste. In addition, the two drinks are commonly used for cocktail mixes, including martini bars. It gets better as any contemporary bar you find in many regions takes the perfect martini as one made with lemon peel to give a sour mix or switched with a reverse martini recipe. Gin does this differently with its strong modern taste that brings the heat, unlike vodka makes colder temperature mask the flavors of the martini to match your personal taste. They work perfectly with Vermouth, another key ingredient in preparing a successful martini recipe. Despite their differences, vodka has a distinctive taste. Though the two spirits appear white or colorless, their effects vary depending. It has a distinctive herbal flavor.

New Yorkers insist that the martini was first invented in 1911 by a Knickerbocker Hotel bartender for John B. Rockefeller, America’s first billionaire. However, most people believe the drink was invented in the 1880s and first published in The Modern Bartender in 1884. If a martini recipe was published prior to 1884, it has not yet come to light. For now, it is safe to say that the cocktail has been around for over 130 years.

The Traditional Martini – Which Is Better, Gin Vs. Vodka?

The martini cocktail onion is a classic cocktail that has a base of vodka/gin/vermouth with 2 main components. Add in the olive garnish and choice of bitters for the perfect finish to your drink and make it splendid.

The choice between making gin or vodka martinis may have a long history from the ages. As time passes and years go by, a shift in thinking about martinis has prompted a change of thinking about making them.

When you visit a more traditional bar, the drink is likely served with gin. A more modern pub might prefer to serve vodka.

What’s the Story Behind the Vodka Martini? 

The vodka martini was first pushed for in the 1950s by Smirnoff. The aggressive marketing campaign focused on the more odorless, colorless nature of the vodka. It claimed that nobody really liked the taste of gin, and it was fairly successful in the drink business.


A wet martini is a type of martini that contains less gin than a vermouth. In the 1800s, ratios of gin to vermouth varied significantly. In cases of high-quality gin, ratios could be increased as large as 8:1. However, most recipes call for two portions of gin for every portion of vermouth. The wet martini contains more dry vermouth than the dry gin

The higher proportion of vermouth relative to gin was fairly common due to the low quality of gin available in the past. If you want to make a wet martini yourself, you’ll need 2 ounces of vermouth per ounce of gin, a wet martini is the exact opposite of a dry martini, the wet martini is complex, floral, and delicate.

However, you are more than welcome to add top-shelf gin to your cocktail even if it is mostly vermouth.

When Did the Dry Martini First Come About? 

The most famous written record of the dry martini dates back to 1904 in Applegreen’s Bar Book. In it is a recipe aptly named “Martini Cocktail, Dry.” However, the first dry martini can be traced back to 1896.

Another notable cocktail from this book is a recipe called “Crisp Cocktail (Specialty Kinsley’s)”. This recipe is similar to a dry martini because it calls for dry Plymouth gin and dry French vermouth.

However, it doesn’t quite qualify due to the 1:1 ratio of gin to vermouth. Here’s the recipe in case you’re interested in trying it out for yourself: 

  • 2 dashes of orange bitters
  • 1/2 jigger Plymouth gin
  • 1/2 jigger French vermouth
  • Piece of lemon peel 
  • Stir and strain into a martini glass


On the subject of classic gin cocktails, what is the best gin for cocktails is a commonly asked question. Like the best liquor for martinis, the best gin to make cocktails depends on your personal preference.

However, we can give you some food for thought to consider. You may want to pick up small bottles from the following to experiment with making martinis: 

Plymouth Gin Martini

If you want to sip on a truly classic cocktail that will transport you back to the early 1900s, you need to make a Crisp Cocktail with Plymouth gin. This famous gin has been beloved for hundreds of years.

Black Friars Distillery was the first to distill this liquor in 1793, and it is still in operation today. What makes this gin great for martinis is the earthy flavor it gets from the high concentration of root ingredients.

Tanqueray Gin Martini

Tanqueray’s history is less rich than Plymouth’s, but Tanqueray is still a solid choice out of many cocktails if you want to make a martini. It was first distilled by Charles Tanqueray in 1830. Today, it is one of the best gins in the world if you take a lot of stock in awards.it is mostly made with blackcurrants and subtle notes of vanilla,

If you don’t, that’s okay. We strongly recommend that you buy a bottle and form your opinion of the gin.

Hendricks Gin Martini

Hendricks is one of the best-known brands of gin, and for good reason. Produced since 1999 at Scotland’s Girvan distillery, this premium liquor contains 13 botanicals, including beautifully blended cucumber and rose.

In addition to making a great martini drink, this surprisingly refreshing liquor is really great for making other classic cocktails, like a Gin and Tonic.

many gin drinkers have been known to say no other gin tastes like the Hendrick gin When trying to find the best gin to make a martini with, you may want to experiment with the Gin and Tonic. This two-ingredient cocktail calls for gin and tonic water, letting the flavor of the gin come through. Making a Gin and Tonic is simple.

The first step is to use ice to fill a highball glass. Once the glass is full of ice, add two ounces of your gin of choice. Then, add four ounces of tonic water and stir gently. Finish with a seasonal garnish or lime wheel.

Sipsmith Gin Martini

Sipsmith is relatively new to the liquor scene, but the quality is outstanding. Established in 2009, Sipsmith quickly established its value in the market by providing a rich, smooth gin that works very well as the basis of numerous gin cocktails.

While juniper is the main note you’ll get when you taste this gin, you’ll also get pretty strong lemon and orange aromas.


Modern Martini

The modern martini requires just four essential ingredients. To make this new take on a classic cocktail, you’ll first need to stir three ounces of gin and an ounce of sweet vermouth, Dolin Blanc Vermouth De Chambrey in a mixing glass mostly filled with ice.

Then, you’ll need to strain the cocktail into a chilled glass. Finally, you’ll need to garnish with three olives pierced by a cocktail pick.

1950s-Inspired Martini

While Smirnoff made a massive push to change the public taste in favor of vodka martinis in the 1950s, some of the cocktails at this time were still made with gin. This 1950s-inspired recipe calls for 2.5 ounces of yellow gin and half of an ounce of Noilly Prat Vermouth.

To make this cocktail, you’ll need a large bar glass filled mostly with large, unbroken ice cubes. Stir your gin or vodka, and sweet vermouth into the glass for roughly 30 seconds, pour into a very chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a few lemon twists.

Black Fig Martini

A black fig martini is a bit different than what most people consider to be a martini. When most people think of a martini, they mostly think of gin or vodka, vermouth, and an olive garnish.

The black fig martini is very different in that it only calls for two types of vodka martini and a garnish.

To make this cocktail, you’ll need to shake 1.5 ounces of vodka and 1.5 ounces of black fig vodka with ice, and strain it into a martini glass. This recipe, often just like most martini recipes, does not exactly call for a chilled glass. Once you’re done with the process of straining your beverage into your favorite martini glass, all you just need is to garnish with a lemon wedge or two blue cheese olives.

The martini is a highly classic cocktail that has been around for almost 150 years. It started off as a gin cocktail, but by the 1950s, it, later on, evolved into a vodka cocktail. Regardless of whether you think a martini should be made of gin or vodka, make us your number one-stop shop. 

Plan a trip to Town’s End Distillery & Stillhouse, and we’ll definitely help you pick out the best liquor for your favorite classic cocktail recipe to suit your taste or wherever your imagination and palate want to take you.

Traditionalist or modernist approach

Those traditionalists might most times be incredibly annoyed with using vodka to make their martinis drink It is a slight mistake but the underlying cause of the drink is an Old Tom-style gin. Obviously, as with other cocktails, the cocktail evolved through time.

In fact, traditional martini using gin is not the traditional martini. Tell me the difference between a mug and a gin.

The nature of the drink provides varied perspectives and experimentation testing out your desired spirit.

Traditional tastes are less important in comparison to evolution. Whether you prefer a more formal palate, you can use Gin!

How to make a perfect stirred Vesper

The cocktail mixer doesn’t need an expensive mixing glass and is an interesting device for making a lot of stirred drinks. You may also mix it into the classic Boston shaker glass or any tall glass.

It’s just a cocktail strainer like a Hawthorne or Julep that can help remove the fluid. You must first measure your whiskey or Cocchi. You can fill a glass about 3/4 full of ice. Use an extended spoon for mixing the drinks.

Shaken or stirred?

Another classic question among martinis is whether to stir alcoholic drinks. Generally, all spirits are served stirred. The technique to shake beverages is typically used when a beverage includes fruit and eggs, dairy, or a variety of thick syrup or liquid liqueurs.

This a typical illustration from James Bond. James Bond changed the whole thing when he demanded the shaker of a martini. How can James Bond demand that his martinis be shaken rather than stirred? Shaking martinis with ice will keep the water cold and faster.

To shake or to stir?

If you mix several classic cocktail recipes, you may have noticed that the cocktails made from only spirits, liqueurs, or syrup cannot be mixed. Drinks containing juice or a mixture of creams or eggs should have a shaker.

Why stirs and shakes are preferable in martinis due to the fact that shaking can help create diluted drinks. The cocktail also adds ice chips, aeration, and some ice chips, which is not ideal.

Alighting and frothing are good for cocktails with drinks like the Daiquiri but not for cocktails with the whole spirit. Stirring gives the mouth a smooth and pleasant feel.

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