Mix the Martini you like by starting with this recipe »

Recipe and tweaks from The Book of Vermouth by Shaun Byrne and Giles Lapalus

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<i>The Book of Vermouth</i> by Shaun Byrne and Gilles Lapalus

The Book of Vermouth by Shaun Byrne and Gilles Lapalus [©Hardie-Grant]

Sebastian Raeburn & Dervilla McGowan, Book of Vermouth


The Book of Vermouth by bartender Shaun Byrne and winemaker Giles Lapalus is a comprehensive look at what is not – as commonly thought – a spirit, but a wine,  with a surprisingly long history in Australia.

There's also a background on the essentials of vermouth itself: grape varieties, botanicals and the key ingredient, wormwood. Of course it wouldn't be complete without over 100 recipes to make the most of this integral part of many cocktails and this one is a classic.

Shaun Byrne explains how to make the perfect Martini – for you:

There are many, many different ways to make a Martini. The trick is to work out how you like it and this can only be done by experimenting. The recipe below is how I like to drink mine. You could call it a 50/50 Martini, as vermouth and gin have been used in equal measure.

Below, I have included some variations on ingredients and garnishes so you can tweak this recipe to suit your taste.


  • 45 ml (1½ floz) Maidenii dry vermouth
  • 45 ml (1½ floz) Tanqueray No. 10 gin
  • ice cubes, for mixing
  • grapefruit twist, to garnish


Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass and top with ice cubes. Stir, to chill and dilute, for about 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Flavour variations

‘I have a sweet tooth’
Try a Wet Martini that uses more vermouth and/or use a sweeter vermouth.

 ‘I like savoury flavours’
Add 1 teaspoon olive brine to make a Dirty Martini.

‘I’m not a huge fan of gin’
Try vodka. It’s not a traditional Martini, but it’s still delicious.

‘I love gin more than I love vermouth’ 
The vermouth-maker in me says shame on you, but the bartender in me says use less vermouth to make it a Dry Martini.

‘I can’ t drink too much alcohol’
Try a Reverse Martini, which is mostly vermouth and lighter on the gin.

Garnish variations

Citrus twist, yuzu leaf, pickled onion, apple slice or finger lime ‘caviar’.

Dash of any bitters, absinthe rinse (see page 78), nasturtium leaf, pickled pepper or kaffir lime leaf.

Blue cheese-stuffed date, strawberry slice, melon ball or rosella flower in syrup.

Mint sprig, basil leaf, rose petal or lemon myrtle leaf.

Olives on a toothpick, anchovies on a toothpick, thyme sprig, rosemary sprig, cherry tomato or marigold flower.

Read more about The Book of Vermouth here »


This extract from The Book of Vermouth by Shaun Byrne and Giles Lapalus is reproduced with the kind permission of the publisher.

The Book of Vermouth by Shaun Byrne and Giles Lapalusis published by Hardie Grant Books (Melb, Vic; Jul 2018; Hb; 208pp RRP A$39.99). It is available at good bookshops and can be found to purchase online via booko.com.au »

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October 16th, 2018
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