how to make a sweet vermouth martini (or sweet martini)

The Sweet Martini is a drink made with Gin (or Vodka) as the base spirit and sweet vermouth. It is very similar to a Classic Gin Martini which uses Gin and dry vermouth. This drink recipe uses sweet vermouth instead of the dry.

The Sweet Martini which is also sometimes referred to as the Sweet Vermouth Martini dates back to the late 19th century and is one of the earliest of cocktails. Since the early part of 20th century, the drink is often called the Gin and It. The drink takes its name from one of the ingredients, which is the sweet vermouth.

The drink is also sometimes called the Original Martini as the recipe dates back to the 19th century. Whether this is the original martini or not is debatable. It is however an easy drink to make as it has only two major ingredients. The major difference between this recipe and the Gin and It is the addition of bitters.


  • 3 shots of Gin
  • 1 shot of Italian Sweet Vermouth
  • Couple of dashes of Orange Bitters
  • Orange Twist for garnish


  1. Add ice cubes into a martini shaker
  2. Pour three shots of your favorite Gin into the shaker
  3. Add a generous shot of Sweet Vermouth
  4. Shake the ingredients about 5-10 times
  5. Put a generous dash of orange bitters into a chilled martini glass and swirl it around
  6. Strain the contents of the martini shaker into the chilled glass
  7. Garnish with a orange twist
Sweet martini with Gin

Variations and Similar Drinks

Gin and It: Gin and It is very similar drink to the Sweet Vermouth martini. Many times you will see the exact same recipe given for both drinks. The difference between the two recipes, as I see it, is the bitters.
Manhattan: Manhattan is another drink which is similar, but uses the Bourbon or Rye Whiskey as the base spirit instead of the Gin.
Bronx Martini: Add orange juice to this recipe and you get the Bronx martini cocktail.

Tips & Notes

  • You can use any sweet vermouth though I prefer Martini & Rossi. Other sweet vermouth brands include Dolin, Noilly Prat and Cinzano.
  • You can also substitute Gin with Vodka, but Gin is preferred for its herbal flavor.
  • You can use any bitters that you like. Many recipes call for Angostura bitters instead of the orange bitters.
  • You can try substituting other bitters, such Peychauds or Angostura instead of orange bitters.
  • A shot is usually about 1.5 ounces.