Master Your Home Bar By Mixing The Ultimate Vodka Martini
At legendary Italian restaurant Dan Tana’s, the classic vodka martini remains one of the most popular cocktails prepared at the iconic bar. The public’s enduring esteem for the drink lies in its simplicity and the timelessness of its flavors. While a cocktail at Dan Tana’s always makes for a fantastic night out, sometimes, you want to mix your favorite beverage at home and stay in. Here are some essential tips for crafting the perfect vodka martini at your home bar.
Plan Ahead and Stay Chilled
There’s a reason that vodka martinis are traditionally served straight up in a cocktail glass with a long stem: heat from your hand quickly warms the drink when there’s no ice, and a warm martini is no way to begin a fantastic evening. The ideal solution is to keep your vodka in the freezer so it requires less time to chill when mixing. To keep things even colder, store your cocktail shaker and glasses in the freezer.
Use Only Good Quality Vodka
If you’re lounging by the pool sipping a sugary cocktail filled with fruit juice and ice, you probably won’t notice if the vodka isn’t of the highest quality. A vodka martini, on the other hand, is only made from a few simple ingredients and truly allows the purity of the vodka to shine. This is definitely the time to pass on the plastic bottle, bottom-shelf fare and go with something worthy of the clean, sophisticated flavors of this modern-day classic. Two ounces of good quality vodka is the basis for any perfectly mixed martini.
Don’t Fear Vermouth, but Don’t go Overboard Either
We’ve become a nation of drinkers who think they hate vermouth, and much of the blame for this can be traced back to improper storage. Vermouth is a fortified wine and, like wine, needs to be stored in the refrigerator after opening for optimal freshness. Your vermouth will last up to a month in the fridge, but beyond that it will spoil quickly and need to be replaced. A vodka martini needs to have an essence of dry vermouth, but adding too much can easily overpower the purity of the drink. Try adding a splash of dry vermouth to the ice in your mixing glass, then swirling it around for a few seconds and straining the excess. You should end up with about ¾ of an ounce which will provide your vodka martini with the appropriate amount of backbone.
Bond was Wrong; Stir, Don’t Shake
Shaking cocktails is fun, cathartic, and looks so cool they’ve even made movies about it. But that doesn’t mean it’s suitable for every type of drink. For cocktails containing cloudy liquids such as citrus juice or thick sweeteners like honey or simple syrup, shaking provides a way to emulsify the liquids and bring the ingredients together into a cohesive unit. A vodka martini requires no such enhancement, and shaking will only cause small shards to break off of the ice and into your drink, diluting your valuable vodka. 50-60 seconds of vigorous stirring with ice should be enough to get your vodka martini beautifully chilled, and ready to be strained and garnished with an olive or lemon twist.