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Even if you’re thinking to yourself, but I already know how to make a martini, you may want to keep reading anyway. This martini recipe is proof that sometimes the simplest things are actually the hardest to master. It might only need three ingredients—gin, vermouth, and a lemon twist—but fewer variables means that each one is very important to the final result. Technique is everything here.

Speaking of, we suggest stirring this martini 50 times in a rapid circular motion (preferably with a bar spoon) before straining it into your cup. Sounds specific, but we’re aiming for three things here: cohesion of ingredients; proper dilution; and a perfectly chilly temperature—all of which lead to a better, more nuanced flavor profile overall and consistency between batches. Why not shake it? Because we’re only mixing spirit-based ingredients (gin and vermouth), you don’t “need” the force of the shake to integrate them the way you would if other non-booze-based elements (such as citrus, egg white, etc.) were present, and it gives you more control over the temperature and dilution. But if it’s still your preference, by all means, shake away! Oh, and if olives are more your speed, try this recipe instead.

Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published March 24, 2015.

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