Looking for a nice martini recipe for the holidays, to wow guests at your next party, or just to celebrate Friday night? I’ve got you covered! Have a look at my 8 favorite martini drinks for every occasion.
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What Exactly is a Martini?
Let’s clarify one thing first. Traditionally, a martini is just a mix of gin and vermouth (at a ratio of about 5:1), served in a v-shaped glass perfect for sipping. The drink is typically garnished with a single olive or a piece of twisted lemon peel.
Did you know? It’s thought this “classic” martini has been around since the 1860s or so. There are now loads of different recipes that carry the martini name with a modifier.
The ones that most closely resemble the original are:
- “Dry” martini: with less vermouth
- “Dirty” martini: with a splash of brine from the olive jar
- “Wet” martini: more vermouth than gin
- Vodka martini: uses vodka instead of gin
It doesn’t end there, though. In the past 40 years or so, “martini” has come to refer to pretty much any cocktail served in a martini glass.
One variation that has absolutely soared in popularity recently is the espresso martini.
During my time working as a bartender, I prepared more martini variations than I can count. Martini drinks are still among my favorite cocktails.
So let’s celebrate the martini with these 8 tasty recipes! There’s a martini for every occasion, from poolside refreshers to spiced holiday dessert drinks.
Martini Drinks For Every Occasion: 8 Recipes You’ll Love
Peppermint Espresso Martini
We’ll start with a holiday martini perfect for Christmas or Valentine’s Day. This peppermint espresso martini is a riff on the classic espresso martini recipe, but we’re adding a splash of peppermint liqueur to make it festive.
The glasses are rimmed with crushed peppermint candy.
I love serving espresso martinis after a celebration dinner where people tend to overeat. It satisfies everyone’s craving for something sweet and works perfectly to wake your guests from their food coma. Give it a try this year!
Minty Green Tea Martini
The art of combining tea and booze, formally known as “tea mixology”, has been gaining popularity. I can see why because many teas and tisanes (herbal teas) go perfectly with different types of alcohol.
One combination that works fantastically is green tea and mint. Add some vodka, honey, and a splash of lime juice to that, and you’ve got yourself a minty green tea martini! This ultra-refreshing cocktail is perfect for a summer afternoon picnic, to enjoy by the pool, or to start off a family BBQ.
Herbal teas are also a creative addition to many main dish recipes or dessert recipes. I’m constantly trying out new recipes for using our herbal teas.
Chai Espresso Martini
Like the idea of an espresso martini, but not a fan of the peppermint variation? No problem at all!
There are many more espresso martini ideas to try. The base recipe goes particularly well with all sorts of warming spices, making it perfect to play around with on cold winter nights.
One of my favorite ideas for a spiced espresso martini is a recipe using chai. This chai tea blend is full of cozy spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and more.
Pumpkin Spice Espresso Martini
OK, last espresso martini, I promise! If the aforementioned chai espresso martini is perfect for winter, then this pumpkin spice variation has got to be the ideal drink for stormy fall nights—and especially for Halloween.
This martini is made in a similar way to the chai espresso martini.
You just combine the classic espresso martini recipe with pumpkin spice syrup. Store-bought works fine, but you’ll be surprised how quick this homemade pumpkin syrup is to prepare with all the spices (ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and more), plus fresh or canned pumpkin purée!
Want the pumpkin, but not the espresso? There really is a martini variation for everyone.
This pumpkin martini is prepared using a simple homemade pumpkin shrub syrup, which is similar to simple syrup but has apple cider vinegar to help balance the flavors.
Once you’ve got your shrub syrup (I promise it’s easy and quick to make!), you can assemble your pumpkin martinis using bourbon, vanilla liqueur, and a dash of orange bitters.
If you want to be fancy, you can rim the glasses with maple sugar.
Have you figured out by now that the easiest way to make a bunch of different martini drinks is to use different (homemade) shrub syrups and simple syrups? The possibilities are just endless!
I grow a lot of blueberries every year, so here’s another one of my favorites: a homemade blueberry martini.
For this martini, let’s make an easy blueberry simple syrup by just combining fresh or frozen blueberries with equal parts water and sugar, then simmering until the sugar has dissolved.
To make things a bit more interesting, let’s also toss in some lavender or tarragon! It goes perfectly with the blueberries and makes your martini taste extra fancy.
The exact same thing we did for our blueberry martini also works perfectly with raspberries (or maybe blackberries, yum!).
For this raspberry martini, I made a raspberry simple syrup as a base. You can also use shrub syrup instead: just add 1 part apple cider vinegar to the water, sugar, and raspberries before cooking it all down.
Although it’s not a must, I use a little Pimm’s No. 1 liqueur in this recipe along with the gin and vermouth. You can replace the Pimm’s with a drop or two of balsamic vinegar—I know that sounds odd, but the flavor profile is actually similar.
Tip: Add herbs just as in the blueberry martini to give your drink a special twist.
Yeah, I’m aware that “tomato martini” isn’t at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to refreshing alcoholic beverages. But it might be after trying this homemade tomato martini!
Hear me out: that liquid you get when rehydrating dried tomatoes? Or maybe when you’re draining them for a recipe? It tastes really good, full of umami and that sweet-tangy tomato flavor.
Next time you’re working with tomatoes, save the tomato water. Combine it with a spicy vodka and some lime juice, and you’ve got a totally unusual but strangely addictive tomato martini. Rim the glasses with tomato or paprika salt.
Which martini is your favorite? Let me know in the comments which recipe you enjoyed most or which martini variation you think should be included in the list. Cheers!
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