The Win-Win Cocktail Recipe

The Win-Win Cocktail Recipe

50/50 Martini of the Week: Win-Win Cocktail Recipe

Ever since Copycat Company on H Street introduced us to the concept, we’ve been charmed by the 50/50 martini–that is, equal parts base spirit and fortified wine, with minimal accoutrements, stirred and served straight up.

The template is clear and simple, but the options are still plentiful. That creates a good onramp for fun, successful experimentation.

Plus, as long as you’re in the mood for something unfussy, they’re delicious.

And, with they’re higher than usual proportion of fortified wine, they’re a great way to enjoy a martini that’s not quite so stiff.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Choose your base: gin, brandy, rum, tequila, mezcal

    • Why not vodka? The drinks are a little boring. They’re just basically fortified wines, diluted in flavor but increased in alcohol content. But if that sounds tasty to you, by all means …
    • Why not whiskey? Because strictly speaking, with whiskey they’d be 50/50 Manhattans, not martinis. And because mixing with whiskeys is a bit more finicky than the others. But if you’re an advanced user or have a high tolerance for failure, by all means give it a go.
  2. Choose your fortified wine: sherry, port, vermouth, quinquina, madeira, marsala

    1. Use some discretion. Not every combination works equally well.
    2. Though it’s cheating a bit, because they aren’t fortified wines, amare work too.
  3. Stir and strain

Sometimes, when we know we’re in the mood for a particular spirit or fortified wine, but don’t know exactly what to make with it, we’ll give it a run in a 50/50. We did just that this past Saturday, and here’s what we came up with.

Win-Win Cocktail Recipe


  • 1 1/4 oz brandy (make sure it’s a VSOP Cognac, but for mixing purposes the very cheapest one you can find)
  • 1 1/4 oz Bonal


  • Stir with ice until well chilled. The ice should be half melted.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass.

Roberts & June