Whether you're a tried and true martini drinker or you're new to the game, it's time you gave the 50/50 martini a whirl. With a little less liquor and a touch more vermouth, it's still true to tradition, but packs a lower alcohol and caloric content.
5050 Martini
Credit: Sara Tane

When it comes to a night of drinking, anybody knows that it’s always a struggle to find that perfect balance between the number of beverages, amount of alcohol, and total calories consumed. If we’re being honest, finding the sweet spot between these three things is damn near impossible. That’s where the 50/50 martini enters, and it’s here to save the day (well, night, and more than likely, the morning after, too). Still ringing true to the classic flavors of a martini, it packs a little bit less alcohol, so that you are a little bit less likely to end up sipping yourself into the danger zone and waking up to a vicious hangover.

A traditional martini is typically about 3 parts liquor (we can argue all day about whether it should be gin or vodka) to 1 part vermouth (a dry, fortified, and aromatized wine). This combination is shaken with ice, strained, and then garnished with a lemon twist, citrus bitters, or an olive (again, martini purists can go back and forth about what is and isn’t legitimate). In the 50/50 martini, the ratio of liquor to vermouth shifts slightly, and as the name implies, becomes 1 to 1. See, math is fun and useful! By scaling back on the hard liquor and upping the vermouth, not only are you slashing calories and alcohol content, but you’re shaking up a drink that might not bring on the immediate buzz (and inevitable next-day, foggy-headed morning) that you’re used to from a martini. Vermouth bares strong floral notes, so the drink tastes much more luscious and fragrant, to boot.

Martinis are the type of cocktail that often seem intimidating to drink—they’re poured to the brim into wide-mouthed, thin-stemmed, highly-treacherous glasses and they’re not adorned with any playful syrups or fruit juices. It’s just you and your chilled liquor (harsh, suspenseful music plays in the background). Not to mention, this alcoholic beverage has quite the opinionated following—a tried and true martini drinker is more than likely going to tell you if you’re not drinking it properly (it’s called martini’splaining, look it up).

What the 50/50 version of the martini does is make this cocktail with such a pretentious and intense reputation seem far more attainable to a more casual drinker. It’s easier on the palate, but still, its parts hold true to what makes up a legitimate, socially acceptable martini. Ultimately, the alcohol that you consume shouldn’t be dictated by what society’s finest drinkers tell you. Rather, you should drink what you actually like (even if it’s that cheap stuff you drank in college—DO YOU). However, if you’re looking for a starting point into the sometimes overwhelming world of martini sipping, the ol’ 50/50 is a great (safe) place to start.

By Sara Tane and Sara Tane