Any self-respecting home mixologist simply cannot get by without knowing how to make a gin martini. No cocktail hour is complete without one. Since its invention in the 1860s in Martinez, California (the -ez eventually gave way to an -i), James Bond’s tipple of choice has been one of the most popular drinks ever, and for good reason. It’s strong and crisp, with a sophisticated appeal that applies to members of both sexes. Of course, as with any great drink, it seems that everyone all has their own take on the best way to make one. It’s always wise to keep it simple. You just need the right gin, the right proportions and just enough chilling and shaking time. Kick your next cocktail hour up to the next level by following these steps.

To make a gin martini you will need:
4 oz. Bombay Sapphire gin
1 oz. vermouth
Drink shaker
Martini glass

1. Chill everything before you begin to make the gin martini.
This will include the gin, the vermouth, the shaker and the glass. Giving everything a nice, even chill will prevent the ice from melting and diluting your drink. Place everything, except the vermouth, into the freezer for several minutes. Chill the vermouth by putting it in the refrigerator.

2. Fill the shaker with ice.
You can use any type of ice, cracked or cubed. The ice won’t be present in the drink itself. It only serves as a mixing agent and chills the gin martini.

3. Pour the gin and vermouth into the glass.
For starters, you can try four ounces of gin and one ounce of vermouth. For reference, a typical shot glass is two ounces; however, this ratio is not set in stone. You can play around with the mixture, going as high as an eight-to-one ratio of gin to vermouth. The combination just depends on your taste.

4. Stir it up.
But don’t overdo it! Some experts believe that over-stirring blunts the taste.

5. Pour and serve.
Pour the mixture, using the straining end of the shaker, into your martini glass. Top off the gin martini with a single olive, or more if you like. Taste it, then begin to make another one.