In case you didn’t know, Friday 19th June is officially National Martini Day. Friday is often enough of a cause to celebrate, but National Martini Day is an extra reason for a wee end of the week drink.

The martini first emerged in the 19th century, but there’s a bit of debate about its exact origin. There’s less of a question about the classic martini recipe that was common by the 1920s. By this time, the martini was a straightforward mix of gin and vermouth, with maybe an olive or lemon peel for an extra touch of class. Modern day martinis come in a much wider range of shapes and sizes. This includes vodka based appletinis and my personal favourite, the espresso martini.

So why not go a bit James Bond and try out a classy martini? There are some great bars serving martinis, but you could also go one step further and make your own:


1. Take a martini making class

Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor Bar holds cocktail classes most weekend mornings, with a rotating programme of cocktails grouped by country. The French class includes The French Martini, but if coffee is more your thing in the morning, Italy covers the Espresso Martini. Classes are £80 person. For this you’ll get breakfast, a mocktail, three cocktail tastings, your own cocktail making and tasting, lunch with a glass of wine and a Cocktail Masterclass certificate.

2. Make a martini from scratch

Epicurious has a straightforward Classic Martini recipe, which is 5 parts gin to 1 part vermouth. For something a little more fruity, lists 10 different appletini recipes, including a tasty sour version and a refreshing Apple & Elderflower Martini.

3. Use a martini or mixer kit

If you don’t think you’ll get through a whole bottle of vermouth, you can buy a kit that measures out smaller amounts. Whisk Hampers sells an Emergency Martini Kit with all the ingredients you’ll need, even the olives.

This other option isn’t a full kit, but the Martini Mixer pack sold in John Lewis does have an unusual flavour selection. It contains 5 flavoured mixers, ranging from Blood Orange to Sour Appletini. Just add vodka or gin to make a quick refreshing cocktail.


What’s your favourite martini? What ingredients should it always contain?