Old Pal

Old Pal

drink-658154_1920First appearing in the 1920s or the 1878s depending on the source. Popularized by William “Sparrow” Robertson, a sports writer for the New York Herald Tribune and an American expat living in Paris. This dry cocktail will sparkle on the tongue. The Old Pal is snappy, bitter, dry, and delicious.

Old Pal
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Servings Prep Time
1 cocktail 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 cocktail 5 minutes
Old Pal
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Servings Prep Time
1 cocktail 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 cocktail 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cocktail
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Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients with fresh ice in a mixing glass and stir. Strain into a martini glass or small wine stem, or optionally serve with a few balls of ice. Garnish with a lemon peel.
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The Perfect Vodka Martini

The Perfect Vodka Martini

This is at once the easiest and hardest cocktails to make.  It’s dry as a bone with no sugar to hide your mistakes.  The perfect vodka martini is an elusive prey.  Good hunting.

Now, let’s clarify right off the bat.  For the purists out there you are right, there is no such thing as a vodka martini.  Martinis are made with gin.  That is correct in every respect but usefulness.  A vodka martini used to be called the kangaroo and also the vodkatini.  Really, we’re not kidding. No wonder the name change. For 40 years now, a martini made with vodka has been a vodka martini. You want to tell James Bond he’s wrong?

So what goes into the perfect vodka martini?  First, good vodka is a must. Of course we suggest Indiana Vodka, but feel free to use a lesser vodka, it’s your loss.  Good vodka will make a martini sweet and smooth. Second, good dry vermouth is also demanded.  Whether you use a liberal amount or just a misting, good dry vermouth is required and we would suggest a French or Italian vermouth. Third, accouterments.  Olives, lemon twists, and orange twists are the most common.  We like slightly oily pimento stuffed olives.  You can use what you like.

Finally, a few things to consider. First, use fresh dry vermouth.  Vermouth will go bad in a month or two, or at least take on an icky character.  Always buy the smallest vermouth bottle you can and keep it refrigerated. Second, use good fresh ice, not the stuff that’s been accumulating all the flavors of your freezer all week.  This goes for all dry cocktails, but especially dry vodka martinis.

As for how much vermouth to use? We are sure doctoral dissertations have been written on this subject. It is a question for the ages. The correct answer (politically correct said the guy at the end of the bar) is use as much or as little as you like. Experiment!

Our classic recipe is below.

Vodka Martini
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Classic vodka martini made with a sniff of vermouth.
Servings Prep Time
1 cocktail 3 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 cocktail 3 minutes
Vodka Martini
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Classic vodka martini made with a sniff of vermouth.
Servings Prep Time
1 cocktail 3 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 cocktail 3 minutes
Ingredients
Main Ingredients
Accouterments (pick one) and/or Variations
Servings: cocktail
Units:
Instructions
  1. Add Indiana Vodka and vermouth to ice in a mixer glass. Stir (sorry James). Strain into a chilled martini glass or rocks glass. Traditionally a vodka martin is served chilled and neat. However, we think it is perfectly acceptable to serve over ice. Just make sure it is good ice. Add accouterments and or variations. Straighten your black tie and enjoy!
  2. When adding vermouth, it is to taste. Some of us like to use a misting bottle and just mist some vermouth over the top instead of adding to the vodka. Others use a more liberal amount. Reportedly Winston Churchill would order his martinis asking for just a nod by the bartender in the direction of France. It's your call. We like Dolin French Vermouth.
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