Martini Up Meaning

The Martini Up is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed for many years. It is a variation of the iconic martini cocktail that showcases a distinctive presentation and serving style.


While a regular martini is typically enjoyed over ice, a Martini Up breaks away from convention by eschewing the presence of ice altogether.

To order a Martini Up, one simply needs to specify that they want their drink served “up” or “neat.” This means that the drink will be chilled, but without ice. The drink is typically served in a stemmed glass, which is designed to keep the drink at the proper temperature while also allowing the drinker to hold the glass comfortably.

The Martini Up is a popular choice for those who prefer their drinks to be strong and flavorful. It is a classic cocktail that has stood the test of time and continues to be enjoyed by people all over the world. Whether you’re a seasoned cocktail aficionado or just looking for a delicious and sophisticated drink to enjoy, the Martini Up is definitely worth a try.

The Basics of a Martini Up

A Martini Up is a variation of the classic Martini cocktail that is served without ice in a chilled cocktail glass.


The drink is made with gin or vodka, vermouth, and garnished with either a lemon twist or an olive. The Martini Up is a popular cocktail that is often ordered at bars and restaurants, and it is a must-try for anyone who loves classic cocktails.

To make a Martini Up, the bartender starts by filling a cocktail shaker with ice. Then, they add gin or vodka and vermouth in a specific ratio, depending on the customer’s preference. The mixture is then shaken vigorously to combine the ingredients and chill the drink. Finally, the bartender strains the contents of the shaker into a chilled cocktail glass, garnishes it with either a lemon twist or an olive, and serves it to the customer.

The Martini Up is typically served “straight up,” which means that it is served without ice. This allows the drink to maintain its temperature and flavor without being diluted by melting ice. The cocktail glass used to serve a Martini Up is typically a stemmed glass that is wider at the top than at the bottom. This unique shape of the glass helps to showcase the drink’s clarity and color.

When ordering a Martini Up, it is important to specify whether you prefer gin or vodka and the type of vermouth you prefer. A dry Martini Up uses less vermouth, while a wet Martini Up uses more vermouth. The choice of garnish is also a matter of personal preference, with some people preferring a lemon twist and others preferring an olive.

Understanding the Terminology

Ordering a Martini can be a daunting task, especially if you are not familiar with the terminology.


Here are some of the most common terms to help you order the perfect Martini:

  • Straight: When a Martini is served “straight,” it means that the drink is served without any ice or mixers. It is simply chilled and strained into a glass.
  • On the Rocks/Rocks: If you prefer your Martini over ice, you can ask for it “on the rocks” or “rocks.” The ice will dilute the drink and make it less potent.
  • Neat: A Martini served “neat” is served at room temperature and without ice.
  • With a Twist/Twist: A “twist” is a thin strip of lemon peel that is twisted over the drink to release the oils. It is then dropped into the drink. Asking for a Martini “with a twist” means you want this garnish.
  • Shaken or Stirred: The age-old question of whether a Martini should be shaken or stirred comes down to personal preference. Shaking a Martini will make it colder and slightly more diluted due to the ice melting. Stirring a Martini will keep it stronger and smoother.
  • Dirty: A “dirty” Martini is made with a splash of olive brine. This gives the drink a slightly salty and savory flavor.
  • Wet: A “wet” Martini has a higher ratio of vermouth to gin or vodka. This makes the drink less potent and slightly sweeter.
  • Dry: A “dry” Martini has less vermouth and is therefore stronger and more potent.
  • Perfect: A “perfect” Martini is made with equal parts sweet and dry vermouth. This creates a balanced and flavorful drink.
  • Extra Dry: An “extra dry” Martini has little to no vermouth and is therefore very strong and potent.
  • No Ice: If you prefer your Martini without ice, you can ask for it “no ice.” This will give you a stronger and warmer drink.

Understanding these terms will help you order the perfect Martini for your taste preferences.

The Making of a Martini Up

To make a Martini Up, the bartender typically starts with a chilled glass and adds ice to the shaker.


The ingredients, usually gin and dry vermouth, are then added to the shaker and either stirred or shaken. Stirring the cocktail creates a silky, smooth texture, while shaking the ingredients produces a more diluted drink with a cloudy appearance.

Once the ingredients are mixed, the bartender strains the cocktail into the chilled glass, leaving behind any ice shards or small bits of herbs or citrus that may have been added for flavor. This process helps to maintain the cocktail’s temperature and prevent further dilution.

It is important to note that the amount of dilution and the temperature of the cocktail can greatly affect its taste. Shaking the cocktail for a longer period of time will produce a more diluted drink, while a shorter shake time will result in a stronger and more concentrated cocktail.

Additionally, using a chilled glass and keeping the ingredients cold can help to maintain the cocktail’s temperature and prevent it from becoming too warm.

While gin and dry vermouth are the classic ingredients for a Martini Up, there are many variations that can incorporate different mixers or garnishes. However, the basic process of mixing, straining, and serving the cocktail remains the same.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Rocco

Rocco is a Florida State University alumnus with years of bartending and hospitality experience. From slinging hundreds of vodka sodas a night in jam-packed college bars to serving carefully crafted cocktails in upscale restaurants, there’s not much he hasn’t done behind a bar. Now, Rocco shares his knowledge and passion for all things alcohol-related here on My Bartender for bibulous readers everywhere to enjoy.

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