Today, the Vodka Martini is as popular as the classic Gin Martini which it was adapted from. It is the drink of choice for many who want a clean, dry Martini without the aromatic botanicals of gin and, just as with its predecessor, can be adapted to suit the drinker's personal taste.
The Vodka Martini actually began with the name Kangaroo, as Paul Clarke points out on Serious Eats. The cocktail was one of those that U.S. bartenders created with the then new spirit that was hitting the market in the 1950's. Many of the first vodka cocktails were just as this one, a gin cocktail with a vodka base. Whether it was the public's changing tastes, their desire for a less aromatic Martini at lunch, or simply the growing popularity of vodka in general, the Vodka Martini became so popular that today you almost have to distinguish which liquor you want when ordering a Martini.
Again, following suit with the Gin Martini, over the years the Vodka Martini began to lose its vermouth to the point that it often didn't even make it into the glass. Despite the contradiction, this is often called a Dry Vodka Martini. However, the simple ratio 2:1 of vodka-vermouth gives the drink some sort of depth and today's vodka market holds a variety of premium options that pair very well with dry vermouth. It would be reasonable that either Martini should have at least a hint of vermouth.
The next option for the drink is the garnish and bitters. Personally, I enjoy orange or aromatic bitters in my Martinis. The garnish could either be a light lemon twist or a few olives with either the standard pimento or stuffings like blue cheese or jalapeno.
The beauty of the clean Martinis is that you can customize them to your own style, taste, or even the mood you're in at any given time.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Yield: 1 Cocktail
- 1 1/2 ounces premium vodka
- 3/4 ounce dry vermouth
- 2 dashes bitters (optional)
- Lemon twist or 3 olives for garnish
- Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Shake well.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a lemon twist or olives.
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