Martinis are, and always have been, cool. If you know what you’re doing, that is. If not, it’s one of those drink orders that can feel more complicated than ordering a steak. And knowing how to order the martini you want can make or break whether you even like the drink you’re paying ten bucks for.
Personally, my order is a gin martini — stirred, straight up, perfect, with a couple of olives. If I’m feeling a bit salty, I’ll go dirty instead of perfect. Why bother with all those specifics when you can just order an Old Fashioned or Manhattan or Mai Thai and know what you’re getting without all the extra language?
Because a well-made martini endures as one of the best cocktails you can hope to drink. It’s devilishly smooth and packs a wallop of alcohol.
Below is a guide to help you know what the hell you’re ordering the next time you walk into a (competent) cocktail bar. The higher end places will want to make you the perfect drink, so expect them to ask you details. If they don’t, maybe just order their house craft beer.