I’ve spent the last 15 years developing, researching (foam in cocktails is having a comeback), and writing about cocktails, and I’ve been enjoying them for much longer—many of them Martinis. I’ve seen Stanley Tucci—who had a public moment on Instagram with the Negroni during the COVID lockdown—make a version of the Martini too. Then a few weeks ago, he made Ina Garten her first on an episode of Be My Guest with Ina Garten, and just last week he posted a Reel of him sharing a Martini with actor Richard Madden. (There are speculations that Madden is the new James Bond.) The universe was sending me a message. I needed to try the Tucci Martini.
Stanley Tucci’s Best Martini Recipe
You can find several variations of Tucci’s Martini online, but in my opinion, the one published in his latest book Taste: My Life Through Food is the most interesting.
Tucci calls for the requisite two ingredients needed to make a Martini: gin and dry vermouth. Typically a Martini is made by stirring the ingredients with ice and straining it to serve. That’s not what Tucci does. He rinses the mixing glass with vermouth and then discards it—yes, he throws out the vermouth!— making a very dry Martini. But there’s more: He uses a timer! Let me explain.
To make the Martini, Tucci mixes and waits for a specific amount of time. Ultimately, this melts the ice, diluting what is usually a very boozy cocktail. Here’s how to make it:
- Pour 1/2 ounce of dry vermouth into a mixing glass filled with ice and stir for 15 seconds.
- Next, wait for 30 seconds.
- Then, stir it again quickly and strain out the liquid leaving behind the ice.
- Pour 2 to 3 ounces of gin into the same mixing glass with the ice, and stir for 30 seconds.
- Now, wait for 30 seconds.
- Stir again for 30 seconds.
- We’re not done yet. Let it sit again for 30 seconds.
- Stir it quickly one last time and strain the liquid into a chilled cocktail coupe.
- Garnish with a lemon peel and an olive.
It’s quite a show to put on if you’re making this for someone else, with ample time to chit-chat while you wait in between stirring.
My one small gripe is that some parts of the instructions are very specific—stir and wait 15 or 30 seconds—while others are vague and anxiety-inducing. Quickly? Does quickly mean 15 seconds, 30 seconds, or maybe just 5 seconds? I’m supposed to be the professional, yet I have no clue!
My Honest Review of Stanley Tucci’s Martini
With all the waiting and stirring, I really thought I was going to taste nothing but water. Surprisingly, that wasn’t the case. Tucci tames the gin, making it a very “soft” drink—you’re not hit over the head with the sharpness of the alcohol. It’s a Martini, sure, but it’s an easy-drinking Martini. I’d make it again.
I’d consider this an entry-level Martini. Though still very boozy as a Martini should be, its softened nature makes it more approachable, especially for first-time Martini drinkers and for those who go the way of Winston Churchill. He once said, “I would like to observe the vermouth from across the room while I drink my Martini.” He preferred all gin, sans vermouth. This vermouth-washed Martini will appease drinkers like Churchill.
For those who consider vermouth integral to the Martini, I would say that you’re probably better off passing on this. For everyone else: Enjoy!
One Tip For Making Stanley Tucci’s Martini
When your drink is mostly just one liquor, make it a good one. I love Ford’s Gin, but Beefeater London Dry Gin is a classic for a reason!