Vodka Martini Cocktail Drink

Vodka Martini

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

If you want to make a classic cocktail, this Vodka Martini recipe covers you! With just a few ingredients, this drink is as straightforward to make as it is elegant to sip.

Vodka Martini Recipe

Chill out with this simple Vodka Martini recipe! This sleek cocktail is perfect for any occasion, made with vodka, dry vermouth, and your choice of lemon twist or olive.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

176 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1 barspoon dry Vermouth
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist or olive, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Martini Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Cocktail Shaker or Mixing Glass
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: To chill, place your Martini glass in the freezer for a few hours or ice it up just before starting.
  • Add Vermouth: Pour 1 barspoon dry Vermouth into the mixing glass
  • Add Vodka: Pour 2 oz Vodka into the mixing glass.
  • Stir Gently: Add ice cubes and use a bar spoon to stir the ingredients gently for about 30 seconds.
  • Prepare Glass: Empty your chilled martini glass.
  • Strain: Strain the mixture into your chilled Martini glass.
  • Garnish: Add a lemon twist or an olive for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Vodka: Gin makes a classic alternative if you're out of vodka. I've also used tequila for a unique twist, but it significantly changes the flavor profile.
  • Dry Vermouth: No dry vermouth? You can use white wine as a last resort. It won't be the same but it'll do in a pinch. Just add a dash of lemon juice to mimic the acidity of vermouth.

Making a Pitcher of Vodka Martini:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 16 oz of vodka and 8 bar spoon of dry vermouth.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the vodka and dry vermouth with ice cubes. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into chilled Martini glasses, garnish with a lemon twist or olive, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Vodka Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic substitute; these are available and mimic the neutral flavor of vodka.
  • Vermouth Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic white wine or a simple syrup infused with a dash of lemon juice.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes and follow the original steps for a non-alcoholic Vodka Martini.

Making it Vegan:

  • Garnish: If you use olives stuffed with non-vegan ingredients like cheese or anchovies, opt for plain olives or a lemon twist.
  • Check Labels: Some vermouth brands may use animal products in their fining process. Make sure to use a vegan-friendly vermouth.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
176
% Daily Value*
Sodium
 
4
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
3
g
1
%
Sugar
 
0.4
g
0
%
Potassium
 
28
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
2
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.01
mg
0
%

 

Vodka Martini Cocktail Drink

Vodka Martini Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Chill out with this simple Vodka Martini recipe! This sleek cocktail is perfect for any occasion, made with vodka, dry vermouth, and your choice of lemon twist or olive.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 176

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1 barspoon dry Vermouth
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist or olive - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Martini Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Cocktail Shaker or Mixing Glass
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: To chill, place your Martini glass in the freezer for a few hours or ice it up just before starting.
  • Add Vermouth: Pour 1 barspoon dry Vermouth into the mixing glass
  • Add Vodka: Pour 2 oz Vodka into the mixing glass.
  • Stir Gently: Add ice cubes and use a bar spoon to stir the ingredients gently for about 30 seconds.
  • Prepare Glass: Empty your chilled martini glass.
  • Strain: Strain the mixture into your chilled Martini glass.
  • Garnish: Add a lemon twist or an olive for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Vodka: Gin makes a classic alternative if you're out of vodka. I've also used tequila for a unique twist, but it significantly changes the flavor profile.
  • Dry Vermouth: No dry vermouth? You can use white wine as a last resort. It won't be the same but it'll do in a pinch. Just add a dash of lemon juice to mimic the acidity of vermouth.

Making a Pitcher of Vodka Martini:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 16 oz of vodka and 8 bar spoon of dry vermouth.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the vodka and dry vermouth with ice cubes. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into chilled Martini glasses, garnish with a lemon twist or olive, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Vodka Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic substitute; these are available and mimic the neutral flavor of vodka.
  • Vermouth Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic white wine or a simple syrup infused with a dash of lemon juice.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes and follow the original steps for a non-alcoholic Vodka Martini.

Making it Vegan:

  • Garnish: If you use olives stuffed with non-vegan ingredients like cheese or anchovies, opt for plain olives or a lemon twist.
  • Check Labels: Some vermouth brands may use animal products in their fining process. Make sure to use a vegan-friendly vermouth.

What is a Vodka Martini?

A Vodka Martini is a cocktail that swaps out the gin commonly found in traditional martinis for vodka. This drink combines vodka with a splash of dry vermouth and usually features a garnish like a lemon twist or an olive. Depending on personal preference, people often enjoy a Vodka Martini shaken or stirred. The International Bartender Association(IBA) officially acknowledge the drink and categorize it as one of “The Unforgettables”.

Two Vodka Martini cocktails in a Martini glass on a stone plate, one garnish with orange twist and other one with olives

What is in a Vodka Martini – The ingredients

Before mixing your Vodka Martini, prepare these ingredients:

  • Vodka: Provides the base spirit and clean, neutral flavor.
  • Dry Vermouth: Adds herbal complexity and dilutes the vodka slightly.
  • Lemon Twist or Olive: Serves as a garnish, adding a citrusy or savory note.
  • Ice Cubes: Chills the ingredients and provides slight dilution for a smoother drink

Vodka and Dry Vermouth laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Vodka Martini?

Follow along our guide to make your own Vodka Martini:

1
<p>First, chill your Martini glass in the freezer for a few hours or add some ice cubes before starting.</p>

First, chill your Martini glass in the freezer for a few hours or add some ice cubes before starting.

2
<p>Measure and add 1 bar spoon of dry Vermouth to the mixing glass to balance and complement the Vodka.</p>

Measure and add 1 bar spoon of dry Vermouth to the mixing glass to balance and complement the Vodka.

3
<p>Pour 2 oz of Vodka into the mixing glass to establish the cocktail’s base.</p>

Pour 2 oz of Vodka into the mixing glass to establish the cocktail’s base.

4
<p>Fill the mixing glass three-quarters full with ice cubes.</p>

Fill the mixing glass three-quarters full with ice cubes.

5
<p>Stir the ingredients gently with a bar spoon for about 30 seconds to mix them well and chill them.</p>

Stir the ingredients gently with a bar spoon for about 30 seconds to mix them well and chill them.

6
<p>Strain the mixture into your chilled Martini glass after removing the ice.</p>

Strain the mixture into your chilled Martini glass after removing the ice.

7
<p>For garnish, either squeeze a lemon peel over the glass.</p>

For garnish, either squeeze a lemon peel over the glass.

8
<p>Place the lemon twist into the glass.</p>

Place the lemon twist into the glass.

9
<p>Enjoy your Vodka Martini with a lemon twist.</p>

Enjoy your Vodka Martini with a lemon twist.

10
<p>Or place some olives into the glass.</p>

Or place some olives into the glass.

11
<p>Enjoy your Vodka Martini with olives.</p>

Enjoy your Vodka Martini with olives.

Best Vermouth for Vodka Martini

When crafting the perfect Vodka Martini, the choice of vermouth can make a significant difference. Dry vermouth is the go-to for this cocktail and quality matters. Noilly Prat is a classic choice, offering herbal complexity without overpowering the vodka. Dolin Dry is another solid pick known for its lighter, crisper profile. For something more artisanal, consider Cocchi Americano, which brings a unique blend of botanicals. But if you’re looking for a recommendation, Noilly Prat tends to be the most versatile, enhancing the vodka without stealing the show.

Dirty Vodka Martini

A Dirty Vodka Martini includes olive brine and the standard ingredients of vodka and dry vermouth. The olive brine adds a salty, savory dimension to the drink, making it more complex and nuanced. This variation often appeals to those who enjoy a less sweet and more robust flavor.

An Vodka Martini shot from above on a marmol table garnished with three olives and a bar spoon on the side

Vodka Martini without Vermouth – The Bone-dry Vodka Martini

It is a Bone-dry Vodka Martini with no vermouth, making it almost entirely vodka. This version emphasizes the clean, neutral flavor of the vodka, resulting in a stronger and less complex drink. It often appeals to those who prefer the unadulterated taste of alcohol without the herbal notes that vermouth typically adds.

Variations on the Classic Vodka Martini

Wish to try some other similar cocktails? Try a variation from our big selection of recommendations.

  • Espresso Martini: Vodka, espresso, and coffee liqueur combine to offer a caffeinated kick, making it a popular after-dinner choice. The rich flavors of coffee blend smoothly with vodka, creating an invigorating experience. I particularly enjoy the espresso’s ability to awaken the palate, making it an excellent pick-me-up.
  • Lemon Drop Martini: Lemon juice and simple syrup come together in this sweet and tangy mix, perfect for citrus lovers. The sharpness of lemon balances well with the syrup’s sweetness. The zesty lemon flavor in this one always delights me, providing a refreshing burst of flavor.
  • Chocolate Martini: Chocolate Martini: Vodka, chocolate liqueur, and cream mix to satisfy dessert cravings in liquid form. This indulgent combination brings together the richness of chocolate and the creamy texture of cream, creating a decadent treat.
  • Cosmopolitan: Cranberry juice, triple sec, and lime juice blend to create a fruity and slightly tart taste. Known for its lighter profile, this classic choice offers a vibrant color and a refreshing mix of flavors.
  • Cucumber Martini: Fresh cucumber infuses vodka, offering a refreshing and crisp edge, perfect for hot summer days. This unique, garden-fresh crispness makes it a standout choice.
  • Gimlet: Lime juice replaces vermouth, creating a citrus-forward experience for those who enjoy tartness. The sharp, refreshing edge of lime juice gives it a distinctively zesty character.
  • Black Russian: Omits the vermouth and adds coffee liqueur. This change results in a darker, richer flavor profile, often enjoyed over ice.
  • White Russian: Cream adds to the base of vodka and coffee liqueur, creating a smoother, creamier texture. This comforting and rich choice is like a dessert in a glass. I particularly enjoy its velvety texture, making it a luxurious treat.
  • Peach Martini: Peach schnapps and orange juice combine for a fruity and sweet alternative. The juicy, fragrant sweetness of peach schnapps perfectly complements the citrusy brightness of orange juice.
  • Lychee Martini: Lychee juice and lychee liqueur bring an exotic, sweet, and floral note. The unique, perfumed sweetness of lychee makes this both intriguing and delightful.
  • Apple Martini: Apple schnapps and a splash of lemon juice mix to create a tart and fruity flavor. Often garnished with a slice of green apple, it offers a crisp and refreshing taste with a distinct apple character.
  • Cherry Martini: Cherry liqueur and a splash of lemon juice provide a sweet and tart profile. Often garnished with a maraschino cherry, it’s a delightful blend of sweet cherry and zesty lemon.
  • Pomegranate Martini: Pomegranate juice and triple sec create a fruity and slightly tart experience, often enjoyed as a festive option. The rich, antioxidant-rich flavor of pomegranate combines with the citrusy sweetness of triple sec.
  • Spicy Martini: Chili peppers infuse vodka, adding a spicy kick perfect for those who enjoy a bit of heat. This bold choice brings an exciting flavor to the forefront, with the fiery zest of chili peppers invigorating the senses.

A side shot of a Vodka Martini cocktail garnished with three olives on a stone plate placed on a marmol table

History and Origins of the Vodka Martini

The Vodka Martini emerged as a variation of the classic Martini, which traditionally features gin and vermouth. The Martini has roots that go back to the late 19th century, but the Vodka Martini gained prominence in the mid-20th century, particularly during the 1950s and 1960s. The Cold War era and the cultural exchange between the United States and Russia contributed to the spirit’s rising popularity in America. As the spirit became more accessible, bartenders and drinkers started using it as a substitute for gin in Martinis.

James Bond 007 – Shaken, not stirred

James Bond, the iconic 007 agent, gave the Vodka Martini a boost in popularity that’s hard to overstate. In both the books by Ian Fleming and the subsequent films, Bond famously orders his Vodka Martini “shaken, not stirred.” This catchphrase became synonymous with the character and influenced how people perceive and enjoy the cocktail. The Bond films showcased the Vodka Martini as a drink of sophistication and elegance, aligning it with the sophisticated and daring persona of James Bond himself. The impact is so strong that many bars have even named the shaken version of the drink the “Bond Martini”.

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Vodka Martini?
A standard serving contains approximately 200-250 calories, depending on the brands of vodka and vermouth used.
How strong is a Vodka Martini?
The alcohol by volume (ABV) usually ranges from 30-40%, translating to 60-80 proof, depending on the vodka and vermouth used.
What alcohol is used in a Vodka Martini?
Vodka is the primary alcohol, with dry vermouth as the secondary component.
In what type of glass is a Vodka Martini served?
It is typically served in a Martini glass.
What does a Vodka Martini taste like?
The taste is clean and slightly herbal, with the dry vermouth adding complexity to the neutral flavor of vodka.
What is the ratio of vodka to vermouth in a Vodka Martini?
The standard ratio is 2 oz of vodka to 1 bar spoon of dry vermouth.
How is a Vodka Martini served in terms of ice?
It's usually served "up," meaning shaken or stirred with ice and then strained into a chilled glass without ice.
Why do some people prefer vodka over gin in a Martini?
Vodka provides a cleaner, more neutral flavor, allowing the vermouth and garnish to shine.

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