There is a very dirty, controversial, word that is not allowed in our house when you ask for a martini. And I'm not talking about the dirty olive brine that my wife is so fond of. It's Vodka. They do not exist here. You can ask for your martini to be shaken, stirred, straight up with a twist, with an onion, dirty, fifty-fifty or how ever else you like it and it will be served to you with a smile and a tasty little hors d'ouevre. Asking for a vodka martini is like saying you are Clemson Tiger fan...both of which will see you immediately escorted out the door and never invited again. Sorry, this clubhouse is gin and LSU Tigers only!
The ratio of gin to vermouth is a personal preference. Less vermouth = Drier while more vermouth = Wetter. Equal parts gin to vermouth will give you the Fifty-Fifty and not a bad place to start if you're not a fan of gin, or just not sure how wet/dry you like your martini. If your vermouth ratio ebbs over half then you have created the Reverse or Upside Down Martini (a favorite of Julia Childs).
Now, shaken vs stirred. The end game here is to chill your cocktail and dilute it some with ice. Shaking = murky (and slightly more diluted) while Stirring = clearer. Is there a difference in taste? I don't think so but make a small version of each to see which you prefer.
And yes, it is a cliche but you can never go wrong serving a cold, gin, martini with a nicely, thick cut, perfectly cooked steak.
His Ingredients (Thank you Aviation. Your recipe is perfect)
2 1/2 oz Aviation Gin
1/2 oz Vermouth
dash of Orange bitters
Chill your martini glass. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add gin, vermouth and bitters and stir until chilled. Pour into chilled glass, garnish with an orange twist
3 1/2 oz Tanqueray or Original Bombay Gin
1/2 oz vermouth
1 tsp (or more) olive brine
Chill your martini glass. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add gin, vermouth, brine and shake until very, very cold. You should see little ice shards when you strain into your chilled glass. Garnish with 3 olives.