What is an extra dry martini?

Answered by Robert Golston

An extra dry martini is a cocktail that emphasizes the flavor by adding very little . As an expert sommelier and brewer, I have come across various preferences when it comes to martinis, and the level of dryness is one of them. In a traditional martini, the ratio of gin to vermouth is typically 6 parts gin to 1 part vermouth. However, when someone requests an extra dry martini, they are asking for an even smaller amount of vermouth or sometimes even just a glass-coating wash.

The term “extra dry” refers to the minimal presence of vermouth in the cocktail. The goal is to let the gin shine and be the primary focus of the drink. This preference for a drier martini has gained popularity over time, with many gin enthusiasts opting for a more gin-forward experience.

I recall a time when a customer came into the bar where I work and specifically asked for an extra dry martini. As someone who appreciates the intricacies of cocktail crafting, I understood their desire to highlight the gin's unique qualities. I carefully measured out the gin, ensuring that it dominated the cocktail, and then added the tiniest amount of vermouth, just enough to provide a hint of flavor and balance without overpowering the gin.

To achieve the extra dryness, some bartenders will even skip the vermouth altogether and instead coat the inside of the glass with a small amount of vermouth before pouring in the gin. This technique imparts a subtle essence of vermouth without diluting the gin flavor. It's all about finding the right balance and meeting the customer's specific preferences.

An extra dry martini is a cocktail variation that places a strong emphasis on the gin by adding a minimal amount of vermouth. This allows the gin to take center stage, showcasing its unique flavors and characteristics. Whether it's a slight splash of vermouth or just a glass-coating wash, the goal of an extra dry martini is to create a gin-forward experience that caters to the individual's taste preferences.