Classic Gin Martini Recipe

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

The Classic Gin Martini Recipe

Back to the Prohibition Era cocktails. I just can’t get enough of them. This gin martini is a little different however, because it’s a specific variation of a classic people don’t talk about.

As a disclaimer…I’m not your typical martini guy. I love gin, but the idea of a dirty martini with olives is disgusting to me.

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” gin martini. It’s your typical 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 of the drink, 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!

How to Make a Gin Martini

When prepared the right way, orange bitters and lemon is the perfect way to add an aromatic and citrusy kick to complement all the natural fruity gin flavors.

Combine a nice dry gin (I like Plymouth), orange bitters, dry vermouth, and plenty of ice in a shaker. Shake for a good 15 seconds and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Here comes the really important part. The lemon peel is not only a garnish, but a very critical element to the drink.

Point the outer part of a lemon peel (non pith side) towards the top of the drink and gently squeeze the edges so the oils spray out over the top of the cocktail. If done properly, you can actually see an oily film floating on the surface of your cocktail. The lemony aroma should hit your note as you sip. It’s amazing.

That’s all there is to it. Now you’re an expert.

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

The Classic Gin Martini Recipe
The Classic Gin Martini Recipe

The Classic Gin Martini Recipe

  • Author: Shawn
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5
  • Yield: 1 1x



  • 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.

Keywords: gin martini