National Dry Martini Day & My 21st Birthday

Categories: Beverages, Booze

Photos by Molly Dunn
Gin and vermouth, nothing more, nothing less.
It's ironic, but fitting, that National Dry Martini Day, June 19, coincided with my 21st birthday yesterday. In honor of this boozy holiday, I decided to order a dry martini during my birthday dinner and tell you all about my experience. Unfortunately, because I turned 21 yesterday, there was no way I could try the martini before June 19 because, well, that's illegal.

First of all, I had no clue what a dry martini is, so I did some research. I discovered that it's gin with dry vermouth and sometimes olives. I still didn't know what that would be like; the only thing I knew was that it was going to be very strong.

My birthday dinner was celebrated at Brio in The Woodlands. I was craving Italian food, and it was convenient because they have a bar. So, we sat down and the waiter asked if we wanted to order drinks. I said, "I will have a dry Bombay martini." The look on the waiter's face was priceless, and if you looked at me while I ordered that drink, you would be confused too; I don't look like someone who would drink a dry martini. I'm positive he was expecting me to say I wanted an appletini or a cosmopolitan.

The waiter soon came back with our drinks. He placed mine down in front of me and said, "Well, I hope you don't hate it." I then had to explain to him why I was doing this; why I was ordering a dry martini on my 21st birthday. It's all because of National Dry Martini Day.

Appletinis taste much better than straight gin and vermouth.
So, I took my first sip, having no idea what I was about to put in my mouth, and, well, you probably know the rest. I absolutely hated it. It tasted exactly like cough syrup. Actually, it was worse than cough syrup because the liquor burned all the way down my throat and into my chest. I now know why the waiter was confused; he knew I wouldn't enjoy that drink at all.

Now, for the appletini ... that was good! I believe I am more of a fruity martini girl. It fits my personality so much more. If I am having a rough day -- and when I say rough, I mean ROUGH -- then I may resort to drinking a dry martini (I'm not condoning drinking when you're depressed), but I don't see those days ahead of me in my future, so I will stick to the sweet and fruity drinks.

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Location Info



Brio Tuscan Grille

1201 Lake Woodlands Drive, Spring, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Hee.  Tequila sunrise.  One of the fraternities at my college always had the first party of the year, called "Tequila Sunrise".  They also had the last party of the academic year, fittingly called "Tequila Sunset".

Molly Dunn
Molly Dunn

Yes, this was my first drink! The appletini I ordered afterwards was much better. I'll give it another try in a couple of years!


Happy belated birthday!  You have some serious stones for choosing such a potent drink as your first one.  Was this your first drink ever? I have to agree with Christina and Katharine: As you drink more, you will move away from the sweeter drinks.  A Southside is about as sweet as I can handle these days.  And maybe in a few years, you'll be able to work your way back to that dry gin martini.  :)


Can't get much drier than no vermouth at all. Something about chilled blueberry vodka doesn't sound all that appealing.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

What Christina said. When I was your age, I was all about the amaretto sour and the tequila sunrise (give me a break; it was a decade ago). These days, a Manhattan is about as sweet as I can handle a cocktail. Good for you for ordering a serious drinker's drink on your first go-around though!

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

My summer of the dry (vodka*) martini was 2009--I set out to like them (as I had set out to like scotch, years before) and it worked. Your tastes will change and evolve over the years--good for you for giving it a go. *I'm not going to have the "vodka martinis aren't martinis" argument. I can't drink gin martinis. The reasons are violent and graphic, and I prefer not to recall them. I stick w/ dry, dirty vodka martinis. Judge me if you must.


Brio has a great bar.  But my dear girl, martinis are not for beginners.  However, next time try a flavored vodka such as blueberry, dry (as in no vermouth).

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