A martini isn’t a martini if it’s served in the wrong glass, so outfit your home bar with a set of classy glasses that elevate even the most quotidian cocktails to works of art. I like Spiegelau Vino Vino Martini Glasses. These long-stemmed beauties are made of lead-free crystal, feel great in your hand, and have thin, laser-cut rims that make every sip a pleasure. Best of all, they hold nearly eight ounces, which gives you plenty of room to try out my nifty trick of freezing a shot of filtered water in the bottom to create a secret base of ice for your mixological masterpiece.
As for the spirit, that’s up to you, but I do have my favorites. For gin, I enjoy Nolet’s Silver ($50), an elegant Dutch offering with a peppery bite that mellows with citrus flavors, and Bombay Sapphire ($24), an English gin distilled with 10 botanicals that’s sweet on the nose and mild on the palate. For vodka, Stolichnaya is always a good bet. Standard Stoli ($24) is spirited and crisp, with just a hint of grain, while its upscale cousin Stoli Elit ($60) is as smooth as vodka gets, with a nip at the front and a luxuriously long finish. Ketel One ($23), meanwhile, always does well in blind taste tests, and for good reason: it’s as pure as mountain air, exactly what you want in a martini.
When it comes to vermouth, I’m fond of classic Martini Extra Dry ($9), which gives your cocktail just the right roundness. And with olives, I’m not picky at all. Give me a jar of Goya cocktail olives ($1.79) from the corner bodega and a box of toothpicks to skewer them with and I’m raising a glass to you, good sir.