Fifty-Fifty Cocktail Recipe

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Fifty-Fifty Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Fifty-Fifty cocktail, also known as the Perfect Martini, is a classic cocktail that dates back to the early 20th century. It is a variation of the traditional Martini, with equal parts gin and vermouth, which gives it a more balanced flavor profile. This cocktail is often enjoyed by those who find the classic Martini too dry and prefer a more approachable, yet still sophisticated, drink.

  • Origin: Early 20th century
  • Variation of the traditional Martini
  • Preferred by those seeking a more balanced flavor profile

How Fifty-Fifty Tastes?

The Fifty-Fifty cocktail has a balanced, smooth, and slightly herbal taste. It is not too sweet, nor too dry, making it a perfect middle ground between the classic Martini and sweeter cocktails. The gin and vermouth combine to create a complex, yet approachable flavor profile.

Interesting facts about Fifty-Fifty

  • The name Fifty-Fifty refers to the equal parts gin and vermouth used in the cocktail.
  • It is also known as the Perfect Martini, due to its balanced flavor profile.
  • The Fifty-Fifty can be garnished with either a lemon twist or an olive, depending on personal preference.


A few good options for Fifty-Fifty are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


Gin acts as the spirit base of this cocktail, offering a botanical bouquet that includes juniper, coriander, citrus peels, and many other possible herbs and spices. The 1.5oz measure keeps the cocktail balanced with equal parts of vermouth. Too much gin and you might as well be walking through a pine forest; too little and the vermouth will steal the show.

Mary Mitkina


Vermouth is a fortified and aromatized wine, which provides complexity and depth to the cocktail. Equal parts ensure that the vermouth harmonizes with the gin, giving the cocktail its characteristic 'fifty-fifty' name. Forget about it and your drink turns into a lonely gin swirl; an overdose and you're dining with the herbs.

Alex Green

Orange Bitters

A couple dashes of orange bitters add a subtle citrusy spiciness, enhancing the other ingredients without overpowering them. It’s like the salt in cooking – just enough to enhance, too much could be a deal-breaker.

Emma Rose

Lemon Twist or Olive

The garnish is more than just eye-candy; it provides an aromatic introduction before you even take a sip. Lemon twist lends a zesty, bright aroma, while the olive rounds out the drink with a briny note. No garnish, no party – it’s that simple. The choice between the two is like choosing between Beatles and Stones – both are classics, just depends on your mood.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Fifty-Fifty Drink

  1. Chill a cocktail glass: Fill a cocktail glass with ice and set aside to chill.
  2. Combine ingredients: In a mixing glass, combine the gin, vermouth, and orange bitters.
  3. Stir: Fill the mixing glass with ice and stir well to chill and dilute the cocktail.
  4. Strain: Discard the ice from the chilled cocktail glass and strain the cocktail into the glass.
  5. Garnish: Garnish with either a lemon twist or an olive, depending on personal preference.

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality vermouth: The vermouth is half of this cocktail, so make sure it's a good one.
  • Stir, don't shake: This cocktail should be stirred to prevent dilution and maintain clarity.
  • Experiment with garnishes: Try both a lemon twist and an olive to see which you prefer.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheeses: The herbal notes of gin and the bittersweet flavor profile of vermouth complement a range of cheeses, especially mild ones like Brie or goat cheese.
  • Seafood: Oysters, shrimp, and other light seafood dishes would be a match made in heaven with the clean, botanical notes of the Fifty-Fifty cocktail.
  • Salty Snacks: Salted nuts, olives, and even chips can bring out the flavors in the cocktail, while the drink in turn cuts through the saltiness, creating a delightful balance.


  • Grilled Chicken: Something as simple yet savory as a grilled chicken could be taken up a notch when sipped along with this dry and sophisticated drink.
  • Sushi: The delicate flavors of sushi align well with the crisp and refined taste of the Fifty-Fifty cocktail.


  • Lemon Tart: The lemon garnish in the cocktail and the acidity of the lemon tart resonate well together, making for a zesty finish to any meal.

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What you could change in Fifty-Fifty

  • Gin: If you're not a fan of gin, you can substitute it with vodka for a different flavor profile.
  • Vermouth: If you can't find vermouth, you can use a dry white wine instead.
  • Orange Bitters: If you don't have orange bitters, you can use Angostura bitters as a substitute.

Explore all drinks starting with F here

And of course - twists🍹

Citrus Fifty-Fifty

*Swap out the regular gin for a citrus-forward gin like Tanqueray No. Ten, and replace the orange bitters with grapefruit bitters. Garnish with a grapefruit twist instead of lemon or olive. This gives the drink a zestier edge, perfect for those late summer evenings.

Dirty Fifty-Fifty

*Stir in a bar spoon of olive brine with the gin and vermouth. Garnish with a few olives skewered on a pick. It's like the classy cousin of a Dirty Martini, adding a savory character that loves to mingle at the antipasto table.

Rosy Fifty-Fifty

*Use a rose-infused gin and a dash of rose water in addition to the orange bitters and garnish with an edible rose petal. This variation offers a floral twist to the traditional recipe, creating a drink that's as aromatic as it is beautiful, perfect for a romantic evening or a fancy brunch.

In case you forgot basics how to make Fifty-Fifty

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Fifty-Fifty

What type of gin is best for the Fifty-Fifty cocktail?

A good quality, dry gin is recommended for the Fifty-Fifty to maintain its balanced flavor. A London Dry gin would be a good fit.

What's the ideal temperature to serve the Fifty-Fifty cocktail?

The Fifty-Fifty cocktail is best enjoyed cold, typically served at a temperature close to freezing point (0 degrees celsius or 32 degrees fahrenheit).

For the non-alcoholic version, what substitutes can be used?

Non-alcoholic gin and a non-alcoholic aperitif can be used as substitutes for gin and vermouth respectively.

Can I use other types of bitters in the Fifty-Fifty?

Yes, but it may alter the flavor. The original recipe calls for orange bitters.

What occasions is the Fifty-Fifty cocktail suitable for?

Its sophisticated and balanced flavor makes it suitable for formal occasions and relaxed gatherings alike. It's also a good choice for cocktail hours.

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