Shaken or Stirred: The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Martini Glass Cocktails

Shaken or Stirred: The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Martini Glass Cocktails - Drinkware

What is a Martini Glass?

Martini Glasses

Martini glasses are the perfect vessels for crafting the perfect cocktail. They're elegant and sophisticated, but they also have a fun, playful side--and that's why we love them!

A martini glass is a wide-bottomed, stemmed glass that tapers off towards the rim. The stem keeps your fingers from getting too cold or wet while you sip your cocktail and makes it easy to hold onto when pouring. The size differs depending on the type of cocktail you're drinking: A larger glass will let you see more of your drink as it's being poured into it--and if you're going for showmanship, this can be pretty impressive!

What is a Martini?

The history of the martini is actually quite interesting. It was invented by a bartender in San Francisco named Jerry Thomas in 1849 as an American version of an Italian liqueur called vermouth cassis (which means "blackberry"). He combined gin with sweet vermouth and bitters, and served it over ice in a glass tumbler with an olive or lemon peel garnish on top. Over time this recipe has evolved into what we know today: dry gin shaken with dry vermouth and served straight up (without ice) in either a chilled martini glass or coupe glass.

Essential Ingredients for Crafting the Perfect Martini

  • Vodka:
    Vodka is a distilled spirit made from grains or potatoes. It's the most common base for martinis, and it can be used in many different ways. You can use it straight up, on the rocks or mixed with other ingredients to create your own signature cocktail.
  • Gin:
    Gin is also made from grain alcohol, but it has an herbal flavor that comes from juniper berries (the same ones used in making gin). The most common type of gin used in martinis is Plymouth or London Dry style--these are both high-quality gins that have a clean taste without any sweetness added by sugar or syrup like some other brands do.

How to Make a Classic Martini

  • Chill the glass. If you're using a martini glass, it's important to chill it before making your drink. This will help keep your drink cold and prevent condensation from forming on the outside of your glass as you pour in ice water or other liquids later on.
  • Mix ingredients in shaker with ice, strain into chilled martini glasses and garnish with an olive or lemon twist if desired.

Specialty Martini Recipes

Nectar Nook

A simple riff on The Bee's Knees with a lavender honey syrup paired with a smoky mist of mezcal.

  • 2 oz. Honey Gin @barrhillgin
  • 1 oz. Lemon juice
  • 0.75 oz. Lavender honey syrup
  • 1 dash Lavender bitters
  • Mist of mezcal


  • Combine the first three ingredients in a shaker. Add ice. Shake to chill. Strain into a glass. Add a dash of bitters and a mist of mezcal from an atomizer. Garnish with freshly picked lavender.
  • Shown in our Elegant Long-Stemmed Coupe Glass and Handmade Hammered Cocktail Glass.Martini Glass

         Recipe and photo credit: @potableperfectionist


The Real Housewife

Oops, did I do that? Introducing the Raspberry Lemon Drop aka “The Real Housewife," a campy concoction of Electric Sky Pinot Grigio Italiano, lemon juice, and raspberry that's just begging to be sipped, sloshed, and ultimately slung in a rival's face. While we don't actually suggest tossing such an exquisite drink in anyone's face, it's fun to turn up the drama every once in a while.


  • 4 ounces Electric Sky Pinot Grigio Italiano
  • 1 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 ounce Simple Syrup
  • 3 Raspberries, plus more for drama
  • Lemon Slices for even more drama
  • Raspberry Sugar   

How to Mix

  1. Prepare cocktail glass with raspberry sugar rim
  2. In a cocktail shaker with ice, add Electric Sky Pinot Grigio Italiano, lemon, simple syrup, and raspberries
  3. Shake vigorously (also relieves stress)
  4. Strain and pour into prepared glass
  5. Garnish with lemon and raspberries, if you're feeling dramatique


Are you in desperate need of a vacation?  So are we! One sip of this cocktail will make you feel like you've been transported to a tropical paradise.  Martinique is a variation on the French Martini, this recipe replaces pineapple for the more exotic, Caribbean flavor of mango.


How to Mix

  1. In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine all ingredients and shake until frosty and cold
  2. Strain into a martini glass

Classic Martini Recipes

  • Espresso Martini: This cocktail is a delicious blend of vodka, Kahlua, and espresso. It's perfect for those who love coffee and want to try something different than the usual cup of joe. It has a strong coffee flavor and is served in a chilled glass with ice cubes.
  • Apple Martini: The Apple Martini is also popular among martini drinkers because it has an apple flavor and can be served warm or cold depending on your preference. The apple martini has been around since the early 2000s but has recently become popular again thanks to its sweet taste and fruity aroma (or perhaps because it's easier to make than other cocktails). To make one yourself, simply add some cinnamon-flavored vodka into an apple cider syrup mixture before adding ice cubes and garnishing with a slice of red apple on top!
  • Chocolate Martini: If you want something sweet but not too sweet, then consider trying out one of these chocolate-based drinks: The Chocolate Martini or The Mudslide (a combination of Kahlua, Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur and Vanilla Vodka).

Tips for the Perfect Martini

  • Stirring vs. Shaking:
    The Martini is a classic cocktail that's been around for over 100 years, but there are two ways to make it--and both are equally delicious! If you choose to shake your martini, be sure not to overdo it, or else your drink will become watery and lose its flavor. The best way to ensure that this doesn't happen is by using plenty of ice in your shaker so that there's enough space between each cube for air bubbles when they form during shaking (this helps keep them from getting stuck together). If you're going with stirring instead of shaking, use a long-handled spoon or bar spoon instead of an ordinary teaspoon; this will give you better control over how much liquid gets incorporated into each sip.

Serving and Enjoying a Martini

Martinis can be served straight up or on the rocks. If you're serving them straight up, garnish with an olive or twist of lemon peel.

For a more elegant presentation, chill your glasses in the freezer for about 30 minutes before pouring in your cocktail mixture. Then add ice cubes and stir gently until they melt slightly (this will keep your drink from getting watered down). Finally, garnish each glass with an olive or lemon twist and serve immediately!

Garnish Game

You can't go wrong with a classic cocktail, but it's also fun to experiment with different garnishes. A lemon twist or an olive can add some flair to your drink, and if you're feeling extra fancy (or just want to impress your friends), try adding edible flowers or herbs like basil or mint leaves.

Styling Your Martini Bar

You can bring your martini bar to life with a few simple touches. Start with glassware and accessories: make sure you have plenty of martini glasses, as well as olives, lemons, and limes for garnish. A shaker is also essential so that you can mix up some classic cocktails like the Vesper or G&T (gin and tonic).

Next comes display ideas--you'll want to show off your fancy new barware in an eye-catching way! Consider setting up a "bar" on top of an old dresser or nightstand with bookshelves underneath it; this will give guests something different from which they can sip their drinks while keeping them close at hand when needed. Or perhaps hang some string lights above your makeshift bar area--this will create an intimate atmosphere perfect for sipping on those summer evenings when temperatures start rising outside.

You'll need the following basics to style your martini bar:

  • Glassware and accessories:
  • Martini glasses, of course! You can find them in a variety of styles and sizes. We recommend looking for ones that have a stem to avoid warming the drinks up when serving your guests. Check out our HandmadeHammered Martini Glass or Iridescent Handmade Hammered Martini Glass for a unique martini glass option.
  • Cocktail napkins and straws (if you're serving drinks with straws)
  • A bottle opener or two, just in case someone forgets theirs at home!
  • A shaker to mix up any cocktails that require shaking instead of stirring

Creative Martini Themes

Martini glass themes are a great way to set the mood for your party. If you're hosting a holiday party, try serving martinis in martini glasses decorated with festive red or green swirls. Or if you're having a birthday bash, serve your guests' favorite cocktails in personalized glasses that match their favorite colors and styles.

You can also create fun-themed drinks by using different ingredients or garnishes than usual. For example:

  • Make an "adult" version of Shirley Temples by adding vodka or gin instead of ginger ale
  • Create a colorful drink by adding multiple types of fruit juices (orange juice + cranberry juice)


The martini is not just a cocktail. It's a cultural icon, a lifestyle choice, and arguably the ultimate cocktail. And since its inception in the late 1800s, the martini has shaped, and been shaped by social history, American political history, and technological advances. Whether you drink them for their taste or for their cultural relevance, I think you'll agree: there's no cocktail quite like a martini.


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