Main content starts here, tab to start navigating

What Alcohol Makes the Best Martini?

a close up of a bowl

There are two schools of thought regarding making the perfect martini. Some believe it should be made with gin, and others argue it is best made with vodka.

So which is best when making a martini: gin or vodka? The answer is that it depends entirely on your preferences. If you’re stuck between the two, these tips should help you to decide which alcohol you prefer in this classic cocktail.

What is a Martini?

First off, let’s start with the basics. A martini is a simple cocktail that you should be able to order at any bar–no matter how big or small. Technically all it needs is clear liquor and vermouth, though you can top it off with a couple of olives and bitters if you so choose.

Vermouth is what’s known as a fortified wine, meaning that distilled spirits were added to it, ultimately increasing its alcohol content. Bitters are small amounts of alcohol infused with any number of flavors that can help offset the sweetness of some drinks.

What is the Difference Between Gin and Vodka?

At face value, gin and vodka may seem interchangeable. You can’t tell them apart just by looking at them, but the fact that they are both clear liquor is about as similar as they get.

There is a distinct flavor profile between gin and vodka; usually, people tend to strongly prefer one or the other. Unless flavored, vodka has a very neutral taste that blends effortlessly with most cocktails. 

On the other hand, gin has what is commonly referred to as a botanical taste. This is because–unlike vodka, which is distilled on its own–gin is distilled with juniper berries, which significantly impact its flavor.

Interestingly enough, in the same sense that a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle cannot be considered a square, similar logic applies to vodka and gin. Gin is technically a vodka that has been distilled with juniper berries. So gin can be considered vodka, but vodka cannot be considered gin.

Which Liquor Makes the Best Martini?

The truth is, no one will ever agree on which liquor makes the best martini simply because everyone’s palates are different. While gin may edge out vodka as being the more traditional martini add-in, there is no right or wrong answer.

If you know you prefer one clear liquor over another, go with your gut. There’s no sense in puckering through a drink you dislike just because it’s “supposed” to be made a certain way.

Find the Best Martini at Sonsie on Newbury St

Whether you opt for gin or vodka, there’s no judgment here. The knowledgeable staff at Sonsie in Back Bay are happy to treat you to a martini however you prefer it. For more information about Sonsie, please call (617)351-2500 or make a reservation online.