How to Make Your Own Martini Bar

A quick how-to for the holiday season

This holiday season, switch out your typical party liquor table for a make-your-own martini bar.

Just a few simple and easy-to-find ingredients turn a regular bottle of vodka or gin into a full-on party. Your guests will love the ability to create their own drinks and you'll love not having to throw down the cash for multiple kinds of alcohol.

We've put together five staples for every home martini bar and we're leaving the rest up to you. Now let those creative gin-soaked juices flow.

1. Bottle each of vodka and gin (amount of bottles depends on how many guests you are catering to). We recommend supplying both vodka and gin in order to appease all guests. Though some swear a vodka martini really isn't, those who do prefer vodka over gin will thank you. Be sure to buy high enough quality booze that you'll actually want to drink it. Remember, this isn't a make-your-own shots bar.

2. Vermouth. This is the defining character in many a martini. Whether guests decide to create their drinks dry or dirty, up or on the rocks, they'll need vermouth for that true martini kick.

3. Cocktail Shaker. Though martinis are traditionally stirred, be sure to have a martini shaker on hand for those who want their martini "shaken, not stirred."

4. Ice. Though most martinis are served up (in a cocktail glass without ice), you will need ice both to keep your bottles cool and to throw in with the other ingredients while stirring. The ice is meant to be stirred in until your martini has reached its perfect temperature and then strained out.

5. Martini Adornments. Olives, cocktail onions, olive juice, lemon slices, citrus rind, maraschino cherries, and any other additions you'd like to put in your cocktail. The more options, the more fun!


— Kate Statton, The