If you order a Bombay Saphire Martini, up with an olive, what do expect to get?

I ordered it with that exact wording.
Here’s what I got…
Served in a traditional cocktail glass - check.
Three large olives on a skewer - check
Bombay Saphire Gin - check
Sweet Red vermouth - fail

I knew something was wrong by the color alone, but I tasted anyway just see what was in the glass. I actually kept the drink, and didn’t send it back because I thought it had an interesting flavor. However, I would never order it that way in the future, it was much too sweet for a martini.

Have any of you ever had a martini served with sweet vermouth?

Dry vermouth, NEVER sweet. That said… tended bar for 10+ years, never ever added vermouth to any of thousands of the martinis that I stirred and shaken. Never had a single complaint, even when the client watched me make their drink sans vermouth. That was 2 decades ago, barflies are now more into “cocktails” than those days. :smile:

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So you basically served them cold gin?


Yep, I would have been fine without any vermouth at all, but if it’s going in the shaker it needs to be dry! My step father orders it without vermouth every time.

There is an old school recipe for a “Perfect Martini” that uses gin and equal parts sweet and dry vermout – probably about 5-1-1?

Red is just wrong. Obvious some one doesn’t know there are different vermouths


That was exactly my first thought.

There is a 50/50 proportion of dry/sweet vermouth that’s qualified as “perfect”. Even then I’d try to have on hand a “white sweet vermouth” (like the dolin) because for me red in a martini is just wrong. I just don’t know if they had access to white sweet vermouth when the “perfect martini” was in fashion.

I think the martini were wetter than we are used to at the time so the “perfect martini” might be 4-1-1? There was even briefly a “reverse martini” trend with 4 vermouth and 1 gin!

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Eeek! That’s criminal!

My first thought, from the title of this thread, was “Is this a trick question?”, but clearly the person behind the bar made a mistake – or the people who OWN the bar made a mistake in terms of whom they choose to employ . . .

This happened to me at an “upscale” restaurant on our first visit there. Ordered a dry gin Martini, up, no fruit. Moments later, a rosy colored concoction was placed in front of me. My partner looked at me. I looked at her, she asked: “Are you gonna sent it back?” I thought for a moment, then commented that I wanted to sip it first. Very different. No where near a Gin Martini to my thinking. Did call our server over to mention the error. Told her I’d keep this drink, but wanted my second order to be made with gin and dry vermouth.

Then all kinds of craziness ensued. She insisted she return the drink, I insisted I would finish it. Heads around us started turning in our direction. I won out and kept the drink…for just a time. We watched as our server approached a well-dressed older gent, (happened to be the owner), to explain the error. He then came to our table. He told me, and this is paraphrasing the comment, “I’ll have to take that back and replace it. We do not serve mistakes here.” “I’m okay”, I told him. “I’ve sipped on it. Twice. I’ll finish this and order our meals when our second round arrives.” He looked at me with a two second take, turned and left the table. After our meal was completed and the check brought, we noticed both rounds of drinks were comped. I thought that was over-compensating to right a mistake, but at that point…

(later found that the mistaken drink I was served is called a Martinez)



Yes, you’re right, but . . .

The true Martinez recipe first appeared in O.H. Byron’s 1884 Modern Bartenders’ Guide.

1.5 oz Old Tom Gin (not Dry London Gin)
1.5 oz Sweet vermouth
.25 oz Maraschino Liqueur
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Garnish with an orange twist


I actually like a well-made Martinez on occasion.

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Agreed, but even with the ambient noise in your typical bar, I doubt the server heard “Martinez” when the customer said “Martini.” ;^)

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Shall we call this a Martinez bastard?

Maybe a MartiNO '-)

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OMG! I’m hearing* Al Di La *inside my brain. :worried:

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Those weren’t Martinis you served.

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That’s pretty bad, but it could be even worse: I once ordered a Martini and the idiot made me something with vodka.

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I tended and managed bars many years ago. When the martini was mostly the provenance of the businessman’s three martini lunch and the two hour happy hour. The overwhelming preference was for dry or extra dry. Over time, I just made all my martini extra dry, without a single complaint.

Surely wouldn’t work these days, as people are more into “cocktails”, and expect their mixologists to use jiggers, misters, etc… to build their drinks.

  • If you Google “extra dry martini”, you will see various mentions that vermouth is not required in a martini.
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