The Great Debate: Gin or Vodka Martinis?

There are some things in this world that no one can seem to agree on. Coke vs. Pepsi? Pineapple on pizza? But, perhaps one of the most polarizing topics of all is gin or vodka martinis. Don’t get us wrong; everyone loves a good martini. Even so, the great debate over whether they should be made with gin or vodka rages on.

The Start of it All

gin or vodka martini feature

A martini is a cocktail made with gin, vermouth, and garnish, such as olive or lemon. Even Google agrees that gin belongs in a martini. And, that’s mostly because it’s how the drink started out. But, over the years, people have experimented and put their own unique twist on it. Some like their martini shaken instead of stirred. Some prefer recipes with more flavor, like an apple martini or chocolate martini. And, some prefer vodka over gin.

In fact, a lot of people prefer vodka over gin. But why? Well, most believe that James Bond is actually the one to blame. He famously drinks a vodka martini in the classic 1960s films. He also orders his drink shaken, not stirred. While it’s unlikely that he was the first to swap out gin for vodka, his preferences certainly impacted his audience. Since then, vodka seems to have stuck. Now, whenever you order a martini, you have to specify whether you want gin or vodka. 

Gin vs. Vodka

Depending on what base you choose, your martini is going to taste different. The more traditional choice, gin, offers a complex, botanical flavor. While vodka, on the other hand, gives the martini a smoother, more modern taste. It really comes down to personal preference. So, the question remains. What do you prefer – gin or vodka martinis?

Settle this debate once and for all and put your taste buds to the test. Make two cocktails, one with gin and the other with vodka, to see which one is better.

Classic Gin Martini Recipe

Start with a basic gin martini. Pour 3-1/2 ounces of gin and 1/2 ounce of vermouth into a shaker with ice. Stir the contents until chilled. Then, strain it into a martini glass. Finally, top it off by dropping a toothpick with olives into the mix. You can use either sweet vermouth or dry vermouth. The less vermouth you add, the drier it will be.

Classic Vodka Martini Recipe

To make a vodka martini, you can actually follow the same recipe. Simply replace gin with vodka. But, there are many other popular martini recipes that use vodka, too. Most French martinis, apple martinis, and chocolate martinis all call for vodka, for example. To make any of these variations, replace the vermouth with the ingredients of your choice.

And the Winner is…

It doesn’t look like the great debate over gin or vodka martinis will end anytime soon. At least you know what you prefer, and that’s all that matters. To make your own martinis at home, stop by Festival Wine & Spirits and grab the essentials. We carry a large selection of both bases to satisfy each preference.