Rhonda: Well, of course everybody has their own magic incantation that they think is the One True Method. But mine is the right one. I mostly use Boodles gin, but my second choices are Bombay Sapphire or Beefeater. I use Noilly Prat dry vermouth, but I doubt that matters too much. In a shaker, I add 7 ice cubes. These are 3/4 ounce cubes, so 5.25 ounces of ice. Less ice makes the drink watery and more makes it too strong. If your ice cubes are different sizes, you may have to experiment. My mom's and your mom's ice cubes are different sizes from mine at home, so I eyeball it, which means it's not *that* crucial -- but try! After the ice is in the shaker, add 1/2 ounce of vermouth and 2.5 ounces of gin. This is a 5-to-1 ratio. Others may quibble with my choice. They are wrong. Shake or stir. No, it really doesn't matter to me. I shake, except when I make 5 at a time in a big pitcher, I stir. But if you shake don't shake so hard that it gets bubbly. Shake until it's really cold. I use a metal shaker and shake until the cold hurts my fingers. At least 30 seconds. Scale up as needed, even (especially) the ice. For five martinis, do you *really* need 35 ice cubes? Yes! Generally the liquid should not cover the ice when first poured in. Strain into a cocktail glass with olives. Mmmmmm, have one for me.