Martini Institute

  The Art and Science of the Classic Dry Martini



The martini is a complex esthetic experience. Many senses are active. Visual—the clear fluid with “legs” up the walls of the glass and those little crystals of ice floating on the surface as if on a glacial stream. Complex fragrances and aromas in the nose. The wet coldness on the lips on intake. The feel in the mouth and throat—cold at first, followed by the effect of the spirits, at first a slight bite, followed by a growing warmth with later sips. And the ultimate pleasure—flavors of crafted gin that bloom immediately and those delicious aftertastes that linger.

And then there are systemic effects. Alcohol suppresses excitatory nerve pathways. The subjective effect is reduced feelings of anxiety. Knotted shoulder muscles relax and mental strains seem to float away.

Unquestionably, a martini before dinner helps many people turn down the mental volume of the effects of daily stress, for millennia the central nervous system’s response to living in civilization.

The martini is an esthetic symphony. Skilled mixology orchestrates its harmonies to better match your personal tastes. The selection of a gin, for example, is a matter of artistic choice. How, then, can objective science and our opinions serve the art of making a martini to increase your intricately subjective experience?

We believe that results of our taste tests and experi- ments with mixology techniques will suggest new dimensions to crafting martinis. The goal our evaluations and analyses is to inspire you to try different gins, fresh recipes, and new mixing techniques with, we hope, increasingly pleasing results.

Our pages offer you our best opinions and tested knowledge for your consideration and personal appraisal – but foremost, for your enjoyment.


                                              Dr. Mike & Fred


She ordered a martini, and I was pleased to note that it wasn’t a chocolate one,
or a blue one, or one with cranberry juice. It wasn’t even vodka; just a good
old-fashioned gin martini, straight up with an olive, the way martinis were

meant to be drunk before they became a trendy novelty at cigar bars.

                                                                                                         –Les Roberts, The Indian Sign, 2000


The Martini