Sweet Martini


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Written By cocktailflavors.com
Sweet Martini_001

Introduction to the Sweet Martini

The Sweet Martini is a sumptuous twist on the classic Martini, known for its richer, more approachable flavor profile. This cocktail blends the botanical notes of gin with the herbal sweetness of vermouth, softened by a hint of citrus from orange bitters. It’s a drink that has evolved over time, finding a special place in the hearts of those who enjoy a touch of sweetness in their glass.

Whether you’re a seasoned Martini enthusiast or new to the world of cocktails, the Sweet Martini offers a delightful experience. Its versatility makes it perfect for a sophisticated evening or a casual nightcap. Let’s dive into the world of this elegant cocktail and discover what makes it a perennial favorite.

Key Facts About the Sweet Martini:

  • Alcohol Volume: Approximately 24% ABV
  • Calories: Around 178 kcal per serving
  • Preferred Glass: Chilled martini glass
  • Typical Garnish: Maraschino Cherry

Interesting Facts about the Sweet Martini

The Sweet Martini isn’t just a drink; it’s a piece of cocktail history. It’s a variation that caters to those who found the original Martini a bit too dry for their taste. Over the years, it has become a canvas for mixologists to showcase their creativity, adding various ingredients to enhance its flavor.

Did you know that the Sweet Martini was once known as the Martinez, a name that suggests a possible link to the town of Martinez in California? While the origins are debated, the Sweet Martini’s journey from a simple alteration to a staple in cocktail menus is a testament to its enduring appeal.

Sweet Martini Cocktail

Tasting Notes for the Sweet Martini

The Sweet Martini is a harmonious blend of flavors that will appeal to a wide range of palates. The gin provides a complex botanical backdrop, while the sweet vermouth adds a rich, herbal sweetness. The orange bitters introduce a subtle citrus note, creating a well-rounded and satisfying taste.

This cocktail is perfect for those who appreciate a balance between sweet and strong. It’s ideal for special occasions, as an aperitif, or simply when you’re in the mood for something with a touch of elegance. The Sweet Martini is versatile enough to suit any event, from a formal dinner party to a relaxed evening at home.

History of the Sweet Martini

The Sweet Martini’s origins are as intriguing as its flavor. It’s believed to have emerged in the late 19th century, during a time when vermouth was gaining popularity in the United States. The original Martini was a drier concoction, but as tastes evolved, so did the recipes, leading to the creation of the sweeter version we know today.

Throughout the years, the Sweet Martini has seen various iterations, with bartenders experimenting with different types of vermouth and ratios. It has stood the test of time, remaining a beloved choice for those seeking a less dry Martini experience.

One notable anecdote involves the legendary bartender Jerry Thomas, who some believe played a role in the creation of the Sweet Martini’s predecessor, the Martinez. While this connection remains part of cocktail folklore, it highlights the drink’s storied past and its place in cocktail culture.

Sweet Martini Ingredients

  • Gin (2 oz / 60 ml): The base spirit, gin provides the botanical notes that are essential to the cocktail’s character.
  • Sweet Vermouth (1 oz / 30 ml): This fortified wine adds sweetness and depth, complementing the gin’s complexity.
  • Orange Bitters (1-2 dashes): A touch of bitters brings a hint of citrus and ties the flavors together.
  • Maraschino Cherry: The garnish adds a visual appeal and a touch of fruity sweetness.

Did you know? The choice of gin can greatly influence the flavor of your Sweet Martini. Opt for a gin with a flavor profile that complements the sweet vermouth.

Preparing Sweet Martini

Sweet Martini Method

Chilling the Glass

Begin by placing your martini glass in the freezer to chill. A cold glass will keep your cocktail at the perfect temperature from the first sip to the last.

Preparing the Mix

Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes to the brim. This will ensure your ingredients are chilled quickly without diluting the drink too much.

Combining the Ingredients

Pour the gin and sweet vermouth over the ice. Add the orange bitters, then stir the mixture for about 30 seconds. Stirring, rather than shaking, will preserve the clarity and texture of the cocktail.


Once well-chilled, strain the mixture into your chilled martini glass. Straining prevents ice chips from entering the drink, maintaining its smoothness.


Finally, garnish with a maraschino cherry. The garnish not only adds a touch of sweetness but also serves as an elegant finishing touch.

Serving Suggestion for the Sweet Martini

The Sweet Martini is traditionally served in a chilled martini glass. The wide, open top of the glass allows the aromas to reach the nose, enhancing the tasting experience. The stem also keeps your hands from warming the cocktail.

When it comes to garnishes, the maraschino cherry is a classic choice. It’s important to use a high-quality cherry to avoid overpowering the drink with artificial sweetness.

Elevating the Sweet Martini

  • Quality Ingredients: Always use the best quality gin and vermouth you can find. The purity of these ingredients will shine through in the final cocktail.
  • Proper Technique: Stirring the cocktail with a bar spoon for the right amount of time ensures proper dilution and temperature without clouding the drink.
  • Experiment with Garnishes: While a maraschino cherry is traditional, consider experimenting with a twist of lemon peel or a few olives for a different flavor profile.

Sweet Martini

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Sweet Martini

If you’re out of gin, consider using vodka for a smoother, less botanical drink. For a different twist, try a different type of vermouth, such as a rosso or bianco, to alter the sweetness and flavor profile.

Similar cocktails that share the same spirit include the Negroni or the Manhattan, both of which also use vermouth but with different complements.

Add a Twist to the Sweet Martini

For a modern take, infuse your gin with fresh herbs or spices. Lavender or rosemary can add a unique aromatic quality to your Sweet Martini.

Another idea is to incorporate a splash of fruit liqueur, such as cherry or orange, to enhance the fruit notes without overpowering the cocktail.

Preferred Liquors for the Sweet Martini

When it comes to gin, brands like Tanqueray or Hendrick’s are popular choices for their well-balanced botanicals. For sweet vermouth, Carpano Antica Formula or Martini & Rossi bring the desired sweetness and complexity.

Choosing the right brand of orange bitters is also crucial. Angostura orange bitters are a reliable option that complements the other ingredients beautifully.

Similar Cocktails to the Sweet Martini

If you enjoy the Sweet Martini, you might also like the Vesper Martini, which combines gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc. The Americano is another option, featuring Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water.

The Rob Roy is similar to the Sweet Martini but uses Scotch whisky instead of gin. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a cocktail with a smoky twist.

Food Pairings to Go with the Sweet Martini

Classic pairings include smoked salmon canapés or cheese platters, which complement the botanicals in the gin. For something more adventurous, try pairing with spicy Asian dishes to contrast the sweetness of the vermouth.

Chocolate desserts can also be a delightful match, as the bitterness of dark chocolate balances the cocktail’s sweetness.

Sweet Martini FAQs

Can I make a Sweet Martini with vodka? Yes, vodka can be used for a smoother taste, though it will lack the botanical notes of gin.

Is it possible to make a Sweet Martini less sweet? Absolutely, adjust the ratio of gin to vermouth to suit your taste preference.

What’s the best way to garnish a Sweet Martini? A maraschino cherry is traditional, but feel free to experiment with other garnishes like citrus peels or olives.

Can I shake a Sweet Martini instead of stirring? While shaking can be done, stirring is recommended to maintain the cocktail’s clarity and texture.

How do I store vermouth? Vermouth should be stored in the refrigerator after opening to preserve its flavor and prevent spoilage.

Sweet Martini_001

Sweet Martini

A Sweet Martini is a delightful variation of the classic Martini, offering a sweeter taste profile due to the addition of sweet vermouth. It is a sophisticated and aromatic cocktail that is perfect for those who prefer a less dry martini experience.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Course Cocktail
Calories 178 kcal


  • Mixing glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Ice cubes
  • Strainer
  • Chilled martini glass


  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 1-2 dashes Orange Bitters
  • Maraschino Cherry for garnish


  • Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour the gin and sweet vermouth over the ice.
  • Add 1-2 dashes of orange bitters.
  • Stir the ingredients together until well-chilled, about 30 seconds.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass.
  • Garnish with a maraschino cherry.


To ensure the best taste, use high-quality gin and vermouth. For a less sweet version, you can adjust the ratio of gin to vermouth according to your taste preference.
Keyword Classic Cocktail, Cocktail, Gin, Maraschino Cherry, Martini, Orange Bitters, Stirred, Sweet Martini, sweet vermouth, Vermouth

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