how to make a vodka martini
Purists cried sacrilege when Daniel Craig clutched a bottle of Heineken in the last James Bond film, Skyfall. The world’s most famous spy, the international hero of sophistication, intrigue and taste: a lager man? But thanks to Belvedere Vodka's latest investment in the next film, it looks like Bond will again utter the words we so crave: "Shaken, not stirred." As we, too, return to the vodka martini, how do we drink ours?
The beauty of a martini is its simplicity: gin or vodka, vermouth and a garnish. But it’s this simplicity that also makes the classic drink difficult to order at bars, and challenging to make at home. Making a martini can be confronting. Dirty, dry, shaken or stirred: the drinker’s conundrum of what to order leaves many of us skipping the drink altogether. The happy way around all this postulating is to try everything, and keep experimenting at home.
To celebrate World Martini Day recently, I did a series of shots for premium vodka brand Belvedere, when a set of intrepid bartenders revealed their twists on the martini. The result was some beautiful shots, some incredible cocktails, and even more confusion for me on what my favourite martini is after all.
We tried martinis with artichoke liqueur and drinks flushed with Ardberg Whisky, others with cardamom bitters and quince liqueur. I thought I settled on a new favourite, vodka with Belvedere's pink grapefruit vodka and Dolin Dry Vermouth, a pink grapefruit zest garnish, and then someone made one involving pear and apple cider vinegar shrubb. The only conclusion made on the day was that I'm a martini drinker henceforth, whether they come with vermouth, vodka, pretty snow pea garnishes, and whether shaken or stirred.
Photographs by Kate Gibbs.