THE GREAT DIVIDE While purists might refrain from uttering the words "vodka" and "martini" in the same breath, vodka's appearance in the conical glass forever changed the face of the martini. Hardly known in America prior to our WWII alliance with the Soviets, vodka soared in popularity in the post-war decades, paving the way for the boundless creativity of modern cocktails and becoming America's favorite spirit along the way. Vodka's mixable nature and imminent likeability in the vodka martini helped unleash the chocolate-, apple- and all-things-martini craze of the 1990s, indoctrinating new drinkers into cocktail culture. The vodka martini broke tradition with gin-to become an icon of its own. Today, "Grey Goose® martini" is a common call among those who appreciate the subtle sophistication of the World's Best Tasting vodka martini.
THE VODKA MARTINI TODAY
2 parts Grey Goose® Vodka
1/2 part Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
Lemon twist or olive
Fill a mixing glass or shaker with ice. Add the vermouth, stir once, then strain the excess liquid, leaving the ice in the glass. Add the Grey Goose® and stir well. Strain into a chilled Martini glass and garnish with an olive or lemon twist.
Try these simple ways to take this classic cocktail in new directions.
Experiment with mixing olive and lemons as a garnish, or try a fresh bay leaf or other herbs.
Substitute 1 part of Bombay Sapphire® for 1 part Grey Goose® to make a Vesper.
Add a dash of orange bitters or other bitters in the style of a classic Martini.
Use Grey Goose® Cherry Noir and Noilly Prat Rouge Vermouth to make a Midnight Martinez.
HISTORY OF THE VODKA MARTINI
1405 Court documents from the Palatinate of Sandomierz in Poland record the first appearance of the word "vodka," meaning "dear little water," an abbreviation of the earlier zhinznennia voda, or "water of life."
1894 Dmitry Mendeleev, author of the Periodic Table of Elements, is appointed Director of the Russian Bureau of Weights and Measures and establishes the principles for modern vodka production, including the 40% alcohol content that remains the standard strength today.
1906 Louis Muckensturm, writing in Louis' Mixed Drinks, is the first to describe a "Dry Martini" in the English language. His recipe includes dry gin, French vermouth, curaçao and orange bitters.
1951Bottoms-Up by Ted Saucier includes a recipe of vodka and dry vermouth mixed 4:1 called the Vodkatini, credited to Jerome Zerbe, the first society photographer, notorious for stalking celebrities at the Rainbow Room and El Morocco nightclubs in Manhattan.
1953 In author Ian Fleming's Casino Royale, secret agent James Bond orders his dry Martini made with both gin and vodka, a drink later named the Vesper. Throughout the novels, Bond gravitates to vodka, ordering 19 vodka Martinis compared to just 16 with gin.
1975 Sales of vodka in the United States exceed those of Bourbon for the first time, making vodka the nation's most popular spirit, a distinction it holds to this day, now representing over 30% of spirits sales by volume.
1976 When presidential candidate Jimmy Carter attacks the business practice of the three-Martini lunch, President Gerald Ford responds, "The three Martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful and a snootful at the same time?"
1997 American spirits visionary Sidney Frank brings French flair and craftsmanship to vodka with the introduction of Grey Goose®, a luxury vodka crafted in France from winter wheat. Consumers and critics know it best as "the world's best tasting vodka."