A Martini Recipe for Aspiring Martini Drinkers

“The King of Cocktails” Dale DeGroff shares the recipe for a zesty twist on the classic cocktail, a crowd-favourite at Melbourne’s new Le Martini bar.

Article by Hollie Wornes

Dale DeGroff Harry’s OriginalThe "King of Cocktails" Dale DeGroff's Harry’s Original. Photograph courtesy of Grey Goose.

Earlier this year, T Australia’s resident drinks expert, Fred Siggins, crowned spicy margaritas as the quintessential drink of summer. Alex Godfrey, national ambassador for Patrón Tequila, echoed this sentiment, likening it to the new vodka soda.

The fiery kick of chilli juxtaposed with the zest of summer proved to be the perfect combination on warm evenings. Team T Australia loved the citrusy cocktail so much, we extended its enjoyment well into autumn.

But now, as we enter the depths of winter, it’s time to bid farewell to margaritas and usher in the era of the martini. This iconic drink, steeped in history dating back to the late 19th century, holds a storied past. Some believe it evolved from the Martinez, a drink from the 1860s in Martinez, California, which combined gin, vermouth, and maraschino liqueur. Others argue that the martini was first served at New York’s Knickerbocker Hotel or San Francisco’s Occidental Hotel, where it was popular among gold miners. By the early 20th century, the martini had gained immense popularity, becoming a symbol of sophistication, especially during the Prohibition era when gin was readily available. Former T Australia cover star Pierce Brosnan famously immortalise the drink during his role as James Bond with his “shaken not stirred” line.

Throughout the years, the martini has undergone various iterations, from the vodka martini to the dirty martini – and in 2023, it even lost its mind. However, the cocktail’s continued relevance solidifies its status as an icon.

This was recently underscored by the opening of Le Martini in Melbourne, a pop-up bar dedicated to the drink. Behind the new establishment is premium French vodka brand Grey Goose, which has enlisted a star-studded roster of international bartenders to curate a menu of cocktails. Leading the charge is the “King of Cocktails” Dale DeGroff, best known for his influence on cocktail culture during the 1980s at New York’s legendary Rainbow Room.

DeGroff has crafted several twists on the classic martini, including the Grey Goose Millennium Dry, paying homage to the new millennium with a crisp profile. Also on offer is the opulent Grey Goose Martinié Speciale, celebrating all things French. Additionally, there’s the Harry’s Original, inspired by the 1888 Harry Johnson martini — the first five-ingredient martini recipe to be featured in print.

The latter is perfect for aspiring martini enthusiasts, and those who enjoy the citrusy allure of the margarita. Below, DeGroff generously shares the recipe with T Australia for you to recreate at home.

The "King of Cocktails" Dale DeGroff at Grey Goose's Le Martini bar in Melbourne.
The "King of Cocktails" Dale DeGroff at Grey Goose's Le Martini bar in Melbourne. Photograph courtesy of Grey Goose.

Dale DeGroff’s Harry’s Original Martini


60ml Grey Goose vodka
15ml sweet vermouth (Cocchi Vermouth di Torino Vermouth)
15ml Noilly Prat dry vermouth
2 dashes gum syrup

2 dashes Ferrand Dry Curaçao
1 dash Bogart’s Bitters (Bitter Truth)
1 lemon zest coin for flavour


1. Assemble all ingredients except for the lemon zest coin in a mixing glass or martini beaker with cracked ice.

2. Stir well to chill and dilute.

3. Mist the inside of the chilled glass with the oil from the lemon zest coin.

4. Discard the spent zest and strain liquids into the glass.

5. Garnish with the coin-sized zest and serve immediately.