The martini has long been a classic drink at bars around the country and the world.

Thanks to one of the biggest enduring trends in the wake of the pandemic, home cocktail making, martinis are also a key drink that people are choosing to mix at home too.

But for the novice mixologist, someone who enjoys ordering martinis at bars but doesn’t know much about their creation, heading in-store to select the best ingredients for a martini for the first time could easily be an overwhelming task.

Newly minted Brand Ambassador for Grey Goose, Kayla Grigoriou, says that despite its few ingredients and easy method, there are so many variations of martini that its understandable prospective home mixologists might not know where to start.

“The number of martini variations that you can create from one spirit is remarkable – with a martini option truly for every palate and occasion,” Grigoriou said.

“Creating more elaborate, high-quality cocktails at home is a definitely a trend that is seeing an upswing… Consumers are no longer dependent on going out to the bar to enjoy high-end drinks, and are now turning to their bar trolleys and liquor cabinets to whip up their next cocktail.”

Liquor retailers hold a key role for beginner martini-making consumers, and can be the guide to help them navigate the wide and wonderful world of spirits to choose the right products specifically for a martini. When it comes to these situations, Grigoriou has some tips to help.

“Martinis are all about quality. You need to make sure that when [consumers] are picking ingredients, they are choosing the most premium that they can,” she said.  

“A martini, however you prefer it, should always begin with a super-premium spirit. As the spirit is the hero with any great martini, it’s essential you have a vodka that is smooth and satisfying to sip on.”

Grigoriou said that different spirits will have different flavour profiles that work better in some drinks than others, and this is an important thing to communicate to shoppers. For example, Grey Goose’s profile is more sweet and floral (but not too much), making it a great base for different kinds of vodka martinis.

“Martinis contain simple ingredients however, some may struggle with the execution. You want a super-premium spirit and a vermouth that isn’t too floral – nice and dry. Vodka is the hero of a martini, and therefore you want a spirit that has texture, a little flavour and overall, a smooth finish,” Grigoriou added.

While consumers will prefer all different kinds of martinis, from vodka to gin to a variety of additional flavours, that core notion of quality ingredients always rings true. For Australian consumers, this will be applied to a broad range of martini variations.

For example, according to research by mixer brand Fentimans, the hottest cocktail in Australia is the espresso martini, being the most searched and posted about on social media. The pornstar martini comes in at number seven on this list, with the regular martini variations at number 13. In a World Cocktail Day feature earlier this year, National Liquor News also reported that multiple producers have dubbed the espresso martini as a trending home cocktail this year.

Retailers that support consumers to experiment to find their martini preferences will see a great amount of success in-store as these shoppers find their confidence with cocktail making. Grey Goose has also encouraged this with its ‘Do The ‘Tini’ campaign in recent months, aimed at showing consumers all the many possibilities of making martinis at home.

For Grigoriou, this exploration happens once consumers have selected a premium base spirit, as after that, “dilution and ensuring that your drink is chilled is the most important element.”

“It can then be a case of trial and error to see how you actually enjoy sipping your Martini. Is it dirty (olives and brine) or with a lemon twist? Wet (more vermouth), or dry (only a drop of vermouth)? That is the fun part, experimenting and finding your perfect Grey Goose Martini of choice,” she continued.

“The classic martini is dynamic in taste, and a bold choice for some, which is why we also see many martini drinkers opting for more flavourful options, such as the Cosmopolitan.”

Grigoriou’s final piece of advice for retailers educating novice home martini drinkers is to know all the ins and outs of the cocktail.

She says: “Having a basic knowledge of ingredients and method always helps, but what it comes down to is knowing your products. Most of the time we are heading into a retailer knowing what we are wanting to make at home, so knowledge about the method and finding the right ingredients to serve the perfect Martini would be most helpful. Or sharing some hints on a twist of the classic Martini – like a Vesper!”

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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