VOTE: Martini Madness

This March, we're pitting cocktail against cocktail in the most spirited tournament ever. Which classic drink will reign supreme? YOU decide!

(Click to enlarge)

Hold on! I missed the first three rounds.

Want to see how the competition unfolded or want to know more of about the cocktails? Check out round 1 here, round 2 here and round 3 here. You can see the polls for yourself, find out more about cocktail history and get some classic recipes.

VOTE in the final round below. Polls close on Monday, April 3, at NOON PT.  Follow the hashtag #MartiniMadness on Twitter! We’ll be coming up with a few web goodies for you to enjoy and keeping you up to date on the latest polls. Plus, YOU can use it advocate for your drink of choice to take the crown.

I love cocktails! Got any recipes?

Yes, we do! And you can get them delivered right to your inbox by signing up for our weekly newsletter right here:



We promise our newsletter is useful and fun. You also get a joke, a song recommendation, and a few behind-the-scenes updates. How many other newsletters give you booze, jokes, and music?

Round 4: Vote!



  • Scott Higbee

    As I drink my Old Fashioned to accompany my voting, please note that there is no orange twist or fruit of any kind; no soda either. It is my favorite cocktail, although I cheat a little by using stevia instead of sugar. I don’t want it to be too sweet. That being said, I have to have a Martini or too once a year, which is about how often I am wearing my tux. I like mine like Brendan and Rico, twist please, no olive. Vodka does not go in a Martini.

    • Rico Gagliano

      The Old Fashioned is a fine classic, and bless you for pointing out that a martini should ne’er be sullied with vodka, but a few corrections: We’ll have a martini with a twist on occasion, but our regular order is with extra olives. Also a mere two martinis per year is bad for the soul.

      • Scott Higbee

        I understand. I don’t like olives; hence the twist. I can’t argue that it is the more classic martini, though. I also can’t argue about two a year being too few.

  • Brandon

    I hate brackets because a French 75 is great but just not as good as a Mojito. they could have been the top two.

  • filmo

    This is like a lot of sports leagues where an early favorite gets knocked out in the early rounds. “Mint Julep vs Margarita”

  • Mary Lou Guzman

    I love G&Ts. LOVE them. That being said, I voted martini. It’s a classic and always with gin. Olives or twist, depending on the gin. Extra olives if I’m at Musso & Frank. They bring me my own side car of olives. Does that count as salad? PS. I love vermouth and I’m not shy about admitting that here, Rico and Brendan.

    • Rico Gagliano

      Bless you, Mary Lou. Doubly so for the shoutout to Musso & Frank, which is our pick for top L.A. martini. And for the record, Brendan and I will take a rinse of vermouth. So we’re all good. Now SPREAD THE WORD to your martini loving pals — martini is still in danger of elimination and I can’t bear for that to happen on MY SHOW.

      • Ian

        The M+F martini is not so good. Bad vermouth, bad technique! Nice place to visit though.

        • Rico Gagliano

          Well, we’re just going to have to disagree forever about your first statement, and instead forge a common bond over your last.

  • Gregory M. Bruce

    There is only one true cocktail for a Man who wears a double breasted suit and bow tie every day and subsequent night. It is of course The Vesper. Your totally unsophisticated collage of participants in this game did not include my choice in cocktails but I did vote for the next best thing …the little sister if you will…
    The Martini, of course.

    • Rico Gagliano

      I — along with you, I’m guessing — am terribly pained that the Martini was eliminated. By a gin and tonic no less! For what it’s worth, when I want to have more than one martini, I save myself the literal headache and have Vespers instead.

      • Gregory M. Bruce

        Thank you Rico. We truly live in a world gone strange. Which of course, makes us less strange and more admirable. The news is bad, yes. But in fact we have lost nothing. If you’re in NYC if ever, Vespers on me!

  • William J Okin

    Any cocktail that needs added sugar (or stevia) to be great should not be the winner. Manhattan over old fashioned any day, with Carpano Antica vermouth, a splash of Amaro, and a Jalapeño instead of a cherry. Up. It is important to control the dilution in the shaker.

    • Rico Gagliano

      You got your wish! And now I hope you’ll do your duty and vote from MULTIPLE DEVICES for the Manhattan. The Martini’s unconscionable elimination by the gin and tonic must be AVENGED.

      • William J Okin

        Soda pop vs. a real drink. No contest. But somehow the martini lost. Voting in general has been so strange lately. Are there archaic voting rules called the electoral cocktail behind the scenes? Expect the unexpected.

  • letterman

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you guys are stacking the deck in favor of martinis! It’s like calling the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament “The UConn Huskies Invitational” (oh, wait, it already is).

    • Kristina Lopez

      Considering that the Martini is currently losing, I’d beg to differ. How would you stack the bracket? Not have the Martini as the No. 1 seed?

  • teriarog

    sad to see the Mai-Tai went out on the first round. I like my drinks to taste like vacation. #bummer

    • Rico Gagliano

      I’m a martini guy, but I can understand your point of view, and in fact I figured enough folks felt similarly that the margarita would easily eliminate the gin and tonic. But here the G&T is, the narrow favorite to win the whole contest. I really need to reassess my world view.

  • Kelsey Leftwich

    Haven’t you heard of “Boaty McBoatface”? I think a not insignificant portion of G&T backers are voting to annoy our illustrious hosts. Not me of course…

    • Rico Gagliano

      Gin and Tonic is definitely the Boaty McBoatface of the cocktail world. Thank you, anyway, for taking this SERIOUSLY.

  • Uday Navile

    Manhattan for sure!! Surprisingly, Caipirinha was not even in the list. That drink is the biggest hit in my parties!

  • EgyptMex

    Well, ’tis the season for Gin and Tonic. My secret ingredient for a crowd-pleasing G&T is Whole Foods 365 brand tonic water. Its second ingredient is cane sugar and it makes all the difference. I live in the Washington, D.C. area and look forward to touring the Jos. A. Magnus & Co. Distillery and also trying the Chronic Tonics by local mixologist Nicole Hassoun–thanks very much for the tip!

    • Rico Gagliano

      Thanks for the tip, and glad you were edified! At least *something* good came of the martini’s defeat 🙁

  • Coogan

    G & T gets my vote any day (an infinitely customizable standard drink, if you need a variety kick) but the drink hinges on quality quinine. No one mentioned that aspect, that I heard.

    Discovered ages ago on a trip to India via Virgin Atlantic they served up delicious quinine in the little cans-then was unseen in the US. Its the UK version of Schweppes called Indian Tonic. The original lure of the drink can be found here. Accept no quinine substitutes.

    Beware: Must not be the “Slim-line” saccharine sweeter variety, careful buying this non sugar ingredient version online- the only way to buy it usually…

  • Jodi Hartley

    Technically the G & T isn’t a cocktail, as it only has 2 ingredients. But I do love it so. This is a very hard choice…

    • Kristina Lopez

      The Martini is just Gin and Vermouth and that’s the “King of Cocktails.” A lot of classic cocktails are just two ingredients. The Dark and Stormy. The Screwdriver. The Gimlet.

      • Rico Gagliano

        Gin and vermouth are both boozes, so a martini’s a cocktail. A G & T is technically a highball because it’s one booze with a non-alcoholic mixer. But anyway it shouldn’t have mattered since a martini is CLEARLY BEST ARRRGH HOW DID THIS HAPPEN

      • Jodi Hartley

        Actually, the classic martini is gin, vermouth and a dash of orange bitters, but these days that’s been lost. Along with most, if not all of the vermouth.

  • Ninka

    My local spirit producer Vivacity Spirits in Corvallis, OR makes an amazing gin-Native.
    Beautifully flavored with botanical herbs. Even the most gin- hating friends have been converted and we now have G & T parties on a regular basis.