Grocery Guides

23 Types of Martinis: Dry, Dirty & Sweet Martini Recipes

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Instacart

Last Updated: Dec 2, 2023

The martini is one of the most popular cocktails to order and make, and it has many variations. This versatile cocktail comes in an ever-expanding list of combinations. While the classic martini calls for gin and vermouth, some recipes require espresso, chocolate syrup and fresh fruit. 

From before-dinner martinis to dessert drinks, there is a twist on the classic cocktail for all taste buds. As you embark on your journey to find your favorite cocktail, here are 23 different types of martinis, along with their sweetness level.

1. Classic martini

classic martini

The classic gin martini is the cocktail in its original form without the frills. This type of martini is a mix of gin and vermouth garnished with olives or a lemon twist. Some folks have added their own twist to the classic martini and prefer vodka instead of gin.

Shaken or stirred: Stirred 

Sweet or dry: Dry

2. Dirty martini

dirty martini

A dirty martini calls for the same ingredients as the classic type of martini, but with one additional ingredient: olive juice. Adding olive brine to the cocktail creates a salty, savory flavor folks love. You can either stir this martini or shake it to soften its salty profile. Depending on your preference, you can use a higher ratio of olive juice to make it “extra dirty” or “filthy.”

Shaken or stirred: Both

Sweet or dry: Dry

3. Vesper martini

vesper martini with lemon twist

Dive into the 007 world by sipping on James Bond’s iconic martini, the Vesper. If you enjoy gin and vodka, this combination type of martini is a great option. Don’t forget to rub a lemon twist along the rim to release the flavors.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken 

Sweet or dry: Dry

4. Gibson martini

gibson martini

The Gibson is similar to the classic or dirty martini, but it calls for a pickled onion instead of a lemon or olive. This savory garnish adds a pungent punch to the cool, crisp cocktail. Impress your guests with this easy-to-make gin cocktail at your next gathering.

Shaken or stirred: Stirred 

Sweet or dry: Dry

5. Reverse martini

reverse martini

What happens when you flip the proportions of a classic martini? Introducing the simple yet effective reverse martini, also known as a “wet” or “upside down” martini. For this type of martini, you’ll focus more on the vermouth vs. the gin.

Shaken or stirred: Stirred

Sweet or dry: Dry

6. Saketini

saketini

Host the ultimate hibachi or sushi night with saketinis. Combine your favorite sake with vodka to create this cocktail. Garnish with a cucumber and serve to your party guests.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken 

Sweet or dry: Dry

7. French martini

french martini

Sweeten up your palate with the sophisticated French martini. The mix of vodka with raspberry liqueur and pineapple juice creates a sweeter version of the classic martini. Choose this irresistibly sweet cocktail the next time you’re out.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken

Sweet or dry: Sweet

8. Espresso martini

espresso martini

Calling all coffee lovers! This caffeinated cocktail might become your preferred party drink. The infamous espresso martini combines your favorite type of coffee with vodka and Kahlua. Try this espresso martini recipe for a delicious pick-me-up.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken 

Sweet or dry: Sweet

9. Apple martini

apple martini

Looking for a cocktail to satisfy your sweet tooth? An apple martini provides a fruity explosion with every sip. Enjoy the sweet and sour flavor with this sophisticated drink version of Halloween candy. Garnish your appletini with a slice of a Granny Smith apple.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken

Sweet or dry: Sweet

10. Chocolate martini

chocolate martini

Indulge in this rich, creamy chocolate martini that’s perfect for all sweet tooths. The espresso elevates the chocolate liqueur, chocolate syrup and heavy cream. Drink this type of martini after dinner or whenever you’re craving a sip of sweetness.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken

Sweet or dry: Sweet

11. Lemon drop martini

lemon drop martini

The lemon drop martini is on the sweeter side, but its tangy, sour notes pair nicely with a sugared rim — perfect for citrus lovers. Add a bit of zest at your next dinner party by serving lemon drop martinis. Don’t forget to garnish with a lemon twist.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken

Sweet or dry: Sweet

12. Watermelon martini

watermelon martini

Who says you can only enjoy watermelon during the summer? Savor the refreshing flavors of watermelon with this summer-inspired cocktail. Try this watermelon martini recipe for your next cookout or dinner party.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken

Sweet or dry: Sweet

13. Cucumber martini

cucumber martini

The cucumber martini is crisp and refreshing without being overpowering. Muddling the cucumbers with fresh basil leaves and simple syrup helps release the juices. Don’t forget to garnish with more cucumber before serving.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken

Sweet or dry: Sweet

14. Lychee martini

lychee martini

Lychee is a summer fruit that can transform the classic martini into a tropical cocktail. You can choose either vodka or gin for this lychee martini recipe. Sip on this refreshing cocktail on any occasion.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken

Sweet or dry: Sweet

15. Cosmopolitan martini

Cosmopolitan martini

Take your girls’ night out to the next level by sipping on the classic cosmopolitan martini. This type of martini calls for vodka, lime and cranberry juice, though the sweetness isn’t too overpowering thanks to the lime.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken

Sweet or dry: Sweet

16. Key lime martini

key lime martini

Give your taste buds a slice of tropical paradise with this key lime martini recipe. Instead of gin used in most martinis, this type of cocktail requires coconut rum, vanilla-flavored vodka and pineapple juice. Indulge in the tropical flavors of this rum cocktail paired with a graham cracker rim.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken

Sweet or dry: Sweet

17. Pomegranate martini

pomegranate martini

A pomegranate martini is similar to a cosmopolitan but requires pomegranate juice instead of cranberry juice. Sip on this sweet shaken martini in the warmer months for a refreshing cocktail.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken

Sweet or dry: Sweet

18. Mexican martini

mexican martini

Step aside, gin and vodka — the Mexican martini calls for tequila instead. This type of martini is similar to a margarita but in martini form. The mix of tequila, orange juice and lime juice creates a refreshing kick. Serve with this homemade salsa and fresh tortilla chips to tie it all together.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken 

Sweet or dry: Sweet

19. Pear martini

pear martini

Pear is one of those fruits with the right amount of sweetness without being overpowering. The pear martini is unique because it’s sweet yet tart. Serve this cocktail during the fall and winter months, especially during the holiday season.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken

Sweet or dry: Sweet

20. Cranberry martini

cranberry martini

If a vodka cranberry is your go-to cocktail, try stepping out of your comfort zone with this cranberry martini — you’re still getting the flavors (and benefits) of the cranberry juice, but it looks more sophisticated. Take this cocktail to the next level by adding a sugar rim and garnish with cranberries.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken 

Sweet or dry: Sweet

21. Eggnog martini

eggnog martini

Celebrate the holidays with this eggnog martini recipe. The eggnog, amaretto and vodka with a cinnamon sugar rim are the perfect addition to any holiday party. Serve this winter cocktail for your loved ones to sip on as they mingle.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken

Sweet or dry: Sweet

22. Peppermint martini

peppermint martini

Looking for holiday cocktails? The peppermint martini is sweet, creamy and festive. Folks who love the flavor of mint will enjoy this cocktail all season long. Garnish your chocolate rim with a candy cane for an extra special touch.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken

Sweet or dry: Sweet

23. Birthday cake martini

birthday cake martini

Ring in your birthday with a tasty celebratory cocktail packed with sweetness. Celebrate your birthday this year with a drink that tastes exactly like cake — it’s even decorated with a sprinkle rim! Try this birthday cake martini recipe for your upcoming celebration. But beware: This type of martini is very potent.

Shaken or stirred: Shaken

Sweet or dry: Sweet

23 Types of Martinis: Dry, Dirty & Sweet Martini Recipes

Recipe by InstacartCourse: DrinksCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy

Sip on one of these 23 types of martinis that range from dry to sweet.

Directions

  • Choose one of the types of martinis above.
  • Test out the different types of martinis until you find your favorite.

Stir, shake and sip on one of these types of martinis

Now that you’re more familiar with the different types of martinis, it’s time to practice your bartending skills. Rookie drinkers might want to start off slow with an espresso martini or cranberry martini. Cocktail connoisseurs should try a reverse martini or Gibson martini. Don’t forget to garnish your martinis accordingly and elevate your glassware’s rim.

While these martini recipes should take less than 15 minutes to make, you can make better use of your time by placing an online order for all of your martini ingredients. Receive your cocktail olives, preferred alcohol and the rest of your order right to your doorstep. Make sure to drink responsibly!

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