The Improved Classic Gin Martini Recipe

The classic gin martini made with orange bitters and lemon peel twist. Sorry no olives here.

The Improved Classic Gin Martini Recipe

Back to the Prohibition Era cocktails. I just can’t get enough of them. This cocktail is a little different however, because it’s a specific variation of a classic that no one ever talks about.

As a disclaimer…I’m not your typical gin martini guy. I love gin, but the idea of a dirty gin martini with olives is disgusting to me. In fact, I just don’t understand the idea of putting olives in any cocktail (other than a Bloody Mary). It just doesn’t fit, let alone with the botanical flavors that exist in gin.

I recently came across the internet’s best kept secret. A much less popular variation of the classic gin martini—or as I like to call it the “improved” classic gin martini. It’s your typical gin martini with the addition of orange bitters and a squeeze of fresh lemon peel in place of olives.

If you search the web for gin martini or classic gin martini, you’ll mostly get your typical gin, olives, and vermouth variation, with the occasional mention of optional orange bitters and/or a twist of lemon. I’m here to proclaim that this is an ENTIRELY different (and way better) cocktail!

When prepared right, it’s the perfect way to add an aromatic and citrusy kick to extract all the natural fruity gin flavors. It adds so much more character to an otherwise boozy concoction without a lot of depth. For me, it’s enough to add the classic gin martini to my bag of tricks. As I’m sitting here writing, I just can’t figure out WHY this variation isn’t more well known or publicized. In fact, you have to do a little bit of digging on the internet to even find it.

Anyway, hoping you share my sentiment spread the word on my new favorite classy gin cocktail.

The Improved Classic Gin Martini Recipe

The Improved Classic Gin Martini Recipe


The Improved Classic Gin Martini Recipe

  • Author: Shawn



  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth (I prefer Dolin)
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • lemon peel


  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice (except the lemon peel). Shake for 10 seconds and strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  2. Squeeze and twist the lemon peel over glass to extract oils, wipe the rim of the glass with the peel and add to the drink. Serve.