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Nick & Nora Dry Martini Cocktail

Nick & Nora martini is a cocktail similar to the traditional martini, but what’s interesting about it is it emulates what the characters in the novel ‘The Thin Man’ drank. 

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

How to Make a Nick and Nora Martini

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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About the Nick & Nora Dry Martini

Nick & Nora Dry Martini borrows its name from characters in the novel ‘The Thin Man’ written by Dashiell Hammett. 

Initially, the tale was published in RedBook Magazine in 1933. Later, it was published in a book, and movie sequels were produced the following year. The release came at a most opportune time, which was when Prohibition was ending. During this time, people never hesitated to celebrate the cocktail culture. 

Nick, a retired detective, and his wife Nora are a quick-witted couple who solved crimes and prepared drinks together. The drinks included martinis, Highballs, and Manhattans, all accompanied by banter. 

In ‘The Thin Man,’ Nick and Nora shake their martini. Nick even emphasizes that rhythm is an essential thing to a bartender. He says that for a dry martini, ” you always shake to waltz time.” 

Dale DeGroff’s Martini

Although the spirits in a Nick & Nora dry martini are changeable to fit your preference, Dale DeGroff, the bartending legend, provides his recipe. He suggests using a classic London dry gin called Beefeater and good dry vermouth known as Noily Prat.

Contrary to Nick & Nora, DeGroff takes the path most cocktails prefer, using only spirits and then stirring the drink. The final product is a clear, silky, and ice-shards-free cocktail

Nick & Nora Glass

In addition to their classic cocktail, Nick & Nora’s impact on the cocktail culture bore more fruits. It inspired the innovation of the Nick & Nora glass, a stemmed partly rounded cocktail glass. This glass belongs somewhere in between a coupe and a traditional Martini glass.

In the movie, Nick & Nora often drank from this stemmed partly rounded cocktail glass. Its modest size made the glass a suitable vessel for use in the show. At one time, they each downed six martinis

The Nick & Nora glasses came in handy, helping popularize the drink at bars and among the public.

Surprisingly, the glass is still in use today, especially at those renowned cocktail bars. The reasonable volume and attractive shape of the glass make it an ideal receptacle for craft drinks.


It’s worth noting that a Nick & Nora dry martini is a good cocktail for you because it’s low in calories. Besides that, it’s just plain tasty and it packs a punch. Be sure to try this one at your next cocktail party!

Nick & Nora Dry Martini Cocktail
Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Paul Kushner

I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my 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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