My friend Bob and I were sitting around the other day and I was wondering what cocktail to make for Friday Cocktails when he suggested I make his favorite, this Vodka Martini with a Twist. Not being one to upset my pal Bobby, I obliged and was glad I did. I’m not a huge fan of the salty green olive variety (but then I’ve never really cared for green olives) so I was willing to give this one a shot. Goes against everything purists love and I do love annoying the purists. OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration (no it’s not) but they do get their panties in a wad over EVERYTHING when it comes to a martini. Can’t call it a martini unless it has gin in it. Uh oh. Can’t call it a martini if there is no olive. I’m in trouble now. And the worst crime of all? Calling it a martini just because it’s in a martini glass but the glass is holding a concoction that is fruity or bubbly or otherwise not gin and vermouth. I don’t know…given all the things to worry about in the world today puts this stuff into a different perspective for me because quite honestly ‘it don’t matter to me.’ So you purists might be shaking your index finger at me but I love that I am actually making and sharing Robert De Niro’s favorite Vodka Martini with a Twist. I’ll take two please; one for me and one for my pal Bob.
Bobby likes to make his martini’s with a brand I was unfamiliar with until recently. VKDA 6100 is named for the Australian Country Code (it happens to be near Perth), which they declare means “optimism” and “celebrating what’s to come.” It is distilled from a base of whey (cheese!) in New Zealand though they’re quick to note that their vodka is lactose- and gluten-free (as is all distilled liquor). The bottle is made in France (though designed in New York) with a silver lid on a cork made in Italy. In the end, a very cosmopolitan vodka. The brand is owned by Artisan Spirit Merchants of Australia and, OK, full disclosure…one of the co-owners is none other than my pal Robert De Niro. More disclosure? OK, he and I are not BFF’s. But maybe that’s OK; his recent run in those movies about the Fokkers would have me be wary of him every moment!
But I didn’t fib about this being his favorite martini; that’s the truth and the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I guess that’s why I got a little heady thinking he and I were friends and all…but I suppose I would have to move to Tribeca for that opportunity so let’s just say that is NEVER going to happen. I might visit New York City but my heart will always be in Colorado…and my home.
One of the best things about a martini? Easiest cocktail ever. Combine Vodka with a 4:1 ratio to Vermouth in a pitcher with ice and stir. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with a lemon twist. Done. It is such a clean, pure cocktail. Distilling includes the whey and natural spring water and the resulting vodka has lemon and sugary undertones which balance nicely with a cocktail featuring a lemon twist.
If you’re looking for something a bit more sophisticated to offer your sweetie on Valentine’s Day; this should do the trick. Combine with some caviar or Pâté and up your game. Chocolates would be a nice touch too. But keep an eye out next week; I’ll be posting a chocolate dessert on Thursday and a cocktail with chocolate on Friday…I’ll help make sure you’re covered!
The De Niro Martini
- 4 ounces of vodka
- 1 ounce of dry vermouth
- Lemon twists for garnish
- Add ice to a cocktail pitcher or shaker. Stir (do not shake).
- Strain into a martini glass then repour into the shaker and strain again into the glass.
- Finish with a lemon twist.