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Nick & Nora Dry Martini

The Nick and Nora Dry Martini is a sophisticated libation that embodies the epitome of timeless elegance. This exquisite variation of the traditional martini has earned its place among cocktail favorites, celebrated for its seamless blend of gin, dry vermouth, and the subtle allure of a Spanish olive. Its name pays homage to the iconic characters Nick and Nora Charles, from the literary masterpiece “The Thin Man,” renowned for their sophisticated taste in martinis.

Dry martini cocktail with an orange twist in a nick and nora glass on a glass table with a reflection

Sipping a Nick & Nora Dry Martini is not merely a taste experience; it’s a journey through history, an homage to literary sophistication, and a celebration of craftsmanship. Each sip resonates with the legacy of classic cocktails, inviting you to relish the elegance of a bygone era. 


If you’re a fan of classic cocktails, then you’ve probably heard of the Nick & Nora Martini. This elegant drink draws its name from the husband-and-wife detective team Nick and Nora Charles, who were created by author Dashiell Hammett. The couple first appeared in Hammett’s 1934 novel “The Thin Man,” which was later adapted into a successful film series.

During the Prohibition era, cocktails were a way to rebel against the strict laws surrounding alcohol consumption. As the ban on alcohol came to an end, cocktail culture began to flourish. The Nick & Nora Martini was created during this time and became a popular drink due to its association with the glamorous and debonair Charles couple.

The Nick & Nora glass, which is named after the same characters, is a key component of this cocktail. The glass is similar to a champagne coupe, but with a smaller, more delicate shape. It was designed to be held delicately and to evoke a sense of nostalgia for a bygone era.

See also  13 Must-Try Martini Variations

How to Make It

Dry martini cocktail with an orange twist in a nick and nora glass on a glass table with a reflection

Nick and Nora Dry Martini

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Combining the two liquors, plus an olive for garnish, goes a long way in helping you channel this intrepid duo.


  • 1½  ounces gin
  • ½ ounce dry vermouth
  • Garnish: Spanish olive without pimento filling


  1. Pour the gin and vermouth into a mixing glass filled with ice.
  2. Stir well until they are well-chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass.
  4. Garnish with a small Spanish olive with no pimento filling.
  5. Serve the cocktail.

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The Nick & Nora dry martini is a classic cocktail that can be customized to suit your preferences. Here are some variations to consider:


The traditional garnish for a dry martini is a lemon twist or olive. Some people prefer to use a pickled onion instead of olives. Experiment with different garnishes to find the one that suits your taste.

Dry Vermouth

The amount of dry vermouth in a dry martini can vary from a splash to a 50/50 ratio with gin. Experiment with different ratios to find the one that suits your taste.

Shaking or Stirring

The traditional way to make a dry martini is to stir it with ice, but some people prefer to shake it instead. Shaking can make the drink colder and more diluted, but it can also make it cloudy.

See also  Aloe-HA

Manhattan Variation

A Manhattan is a cocktail that is similar to a dry martini, but it uses whiskey instead of gin and sweet vermouth instead of dry vermouth. Try substituting whiskey for gin in a dry martini to make a Manhattan variation.

Bronx Variation

A Bronx is a cocktail that is similar to a dry martini, but it uses orange juice and sweet vermouth instead of dry vermouth. Try substituting orange juice for dry vermouth in a dry martini to make a Bronx variation.

Sherry Variation

A sherry variation of a dry martini uses sherry instead of vermouth. This variation is sweeter than a traditional dry martini and has a lower alcohol content.

Nick & Nora Dry Martini
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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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