We Asked 3 Bartenders to Name the Best Vodka for a Martini, and They All Said the Same Thing

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Vodka, ohio vodka. It’s 1 of those spirits that instantly brings a spirit representation to mind, whether it’s from souvenir changeable glasses aliases a neutral vodka-soda. Meaning “little water” successful Russian, vodka surely gets a bad rap, and nan aforesaid is sadly existent of vodka martinis. But to that extremity I say, nary more!

Even nan Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which antecedently stated that, technically speaking, vodka should beryllium “without unique character, aroma, taste, aliases color,” (ouch!) has gone backmost connected its rulings. The bureau’s caller amended definition gives vodka martini drinkers a batch much excitement to look guardant to — and it shows.

Plenty of vodka brands are making acold much analyzable martinis to bask and mix, according to bartenders. If you often opt for nan much classical gin martini, it’s clip to operation things up (literally, please don’t shake!) pinch a vodka martini. 

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Pearl Jones; Prop Styling: Paige Hicks

What’s nan Best Vodka for Martinis?

What’s nan instrumentality to picking nan champion vodka for a martini? Know your grains! Contrary to celebrated belief, astir vodkas are not made pinch potatoes, but from grains for illustration wheat, barley, rye, and corn. Depending connected nan grain, you’ll get a wide variety successful texture, sweetness, and, yes, a small burn. 

After interviewing complete a half-dozen bartenders, 1 atom was nan pick of nan harvest erstwhile it came to vodka bases: wheat. “I for illustration vodka distilled from 100% wheat,” says George Krpeyan, nan wide head astatine The Grand Tier Restaurant astatine nan Metropolitan Opera House successful New York, who says that galore of nan signature vodka cocktails he makes are pinch Grey Goose, a wheat-based vodka. “For my taste, wheat vodka tastes best.” Hailed for its delicate sweetness and smoothness, wheat vodka is immoderate of nan champion for mixing, while rye-based vodka is often spicier, and corn-based vodka tin thin to beryllium connected nan buttery side.

Krpeyan is not unsocial successful loving wheat-based vodkas, either. “My favourite vodka marque is Grey Goose. I’m French, truthful it is simply a plus, and I emotion nan measurement nan merchandise is being curated and nan afloat process and minds down it,” says Simon Sebbah, nan beverage head of Grand Tour Hospitality. “All of nan vodka cocktails you tin find astatine American Bar, Saint Theo’s, and Holiday Bar are based pinch Grey Goose.” Made from French wintertime wheat and brought up to impervious pinch demineralized outpouring h2o from nan adjacent municipality of Cognac, Grey Goose has a crisp spirit that makes it nan cleanable backbone for a spirit-forward cocktail for illustration nan martini. 

Grey Goose isn’t nan only marque known for its crisp spirit profile. Other bartenders and beverage board I interviewed sang nan praises of different wheat-based vodkas, for illustration Stoli Elite, Chopin, and Ketel One, each well-known for their crisp, cleanable decorativeness pinch ray hints of citrus.  

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Pearl Jones; Prop Styling: Paige Hicks

How to Make nan Best Vodka Martini astatine Home

With a cocktail arsenic elemental arsenic nan martini, nan value of each your components really matter. You’ll request barren vermouth, your vodka of choice, and possibly immoderate orangish bitters aliases oliva juice, each of which should beryllium very overmuch chilled. If you person capable time, freezing your glasses and stirring your martini will support nan cocktail ultra-silky — almost creamy, even.

From there, astir classical martini recipes will telephone for a 2:1 aliases 3:1 vodka to vermouth ratio, a speedy 30-second operation successful your mixing solid pinch a ample crystal cube, and past strain into your martini glass. Add garnish (like a citrus twist, olives, aliases cocktail onions) and you’re done.

While martinis mightiness look intimidating to make, there’s 1 method that makes it almost excessively easy while besides maintaining an ambrosial texture: conscionable make a ample freezer batch. “The freezer martini method builds connected that texture,” says Pete Vasconcellos, beverage head for Albert’s Bar successful New York. “Get a one-liter solid vessel pinch a tight-fitting lid. Figure retired your favourite martini ratio (of vodka to vermouth) and standard it up to 750 milliliters (until it almost fills nan bottle). Multiply nan full measurement by 20% (150 milliliters) and adhd that magnitude of distilled water. Put your martini batch successful your solid vessel and successful nan freezer. When you’re fresh to drink, conscionable move it into a chilled martini glass. No request to stir!” 

As pinch anything, your vodka martini preferences whitethorn wide vary, truthful don’t beryllium acrophobic to experiment if something’s not rather correct for your palate. That’s wherever you tin really person immoderate fun. “Remember, making a awesome martini is astir individual preference, truthful consciousness free to set nan look and method to suit your taste,” says Jason Hedges, beverage head of Laurent Tourondel Hospitality and writer of The Seasonal Cocktail. “You tin adhd immoderate oliva juice and make a soiled martini, aliases you tin infuse your vodka pinch immoderate number of ingredients specified arsenic different teas, fruits and berries, herbs, flowers, aliases moreover nuts.”

What vodka do you usage to make a martini? Tell america astir it successful nan comments below.