1. Any vodka will do. Trust me, Smirnoff's is as good as Ketel One or Grey Goose. Here is the “proof” [pun intended].
2. No flavored vodka. EVER!
3. Do not use vodka from the freezer. It's important for the vodka to melt the ice a little.
4. Add at least 3-5 drops of dry vermouth. It's got to have vermouth. Otherwise it's straight vodka, which is fine with me, but then it's not a Martini.
5a. James Bond was right. Shaken, not stirred. Let it sit for 30 seconds or so to allow the ice to melt a little. This takes the edge off the vodka.
5b. Shake as hard as you can so that some of the ice flakes off and is poured into the glass.
6. A Martini must be served "straight up" in a real Martini glass, which must be chilled. No plastic glasses please. If someone tries to give you a plastic glass, order something else.
7. One or more large green olives; no pits please; stuffing is optional. Pimento is the standard stuffing. I prefer garlic- or jalapeño-stuffed olives.
8. Extra juice from the olive jar (so-called "dirty Martini") is acceptable for some but not for me.
I'll have one when I'm off duty. Cheers!