“Shaken, not stirred.” the iconic lines of Ian Fleming’s fictional Secret Service Agent James Bond. We all know that James Bond has exquisite style and taste.
This is evident in what he drinks too. His choice of a vodka martini drink drove millions of Americans to discover this delicious beverage.
But, have you ever been told how you “should” drink a martini? It can be frustrating as there is no right and wrong way to enjoy a martini. Shaken and stirred. Olive or twist.
It’s up to you! However, the choice of vodka can determine the quality of your martini.
There are dozens of impressive vodka brands available today that can deliver a distinct yet subtle character to your martini.
Unlike days gone by, martinis can now be a flavorsome drink instead of a flavorless glass of alcohol between other beverages.
Whether it’s a rice and rye-based bottle or more well-known brands that highlight the martini’s terroir, we are going to guide you through some of the best vodkas to add to your martini.
You don’t have to stick to Bond’s (James Bond’s) original choice of Smirnoff, or his later likings of Belvedere and Stolichnaya any longer. In the last half a century, the production of vodka has increased exponentially.
What is the best vodka for martinis? Now, there is vodka for every kind of martini and we are going to show you the best today to make your martini the richest you’ve ever experienced.
Best Overall Vodka for Martinis
Arriving at an exact 42.3 percent ABV, this winter-wheat-based vodka is the ideal mixer for your martini. It has the perfect combination of exquisite grain flavors and a bold texture that shines through.
Its ABV is somewhat higher than average but this is a positive. It allows the vodka to hold its own, especially when mixed with a heavier amount of vermouth.
Available at an average price of $35, Absolut Elyx is an affordable and high-quality choice.
Here, we have one of the lightest-bodied and pleasant tasting vodkas on the market. Stoli Elit is filtered with a number of different methods using birch charcoal, quartz, freezing, and ion charging.
Its estate-grown grain is refined over three distillations resulting in a smooth, aromatic vodka. This is the go-to spirit for an ultra-clean martini that will wow you with every sip.
Grown in Picardy, Northern France, Grey Goose is made from soft winter wheat along the fresh spring water of the Cognac region. Smooth and delicate, this vodka is a delight and an absolute pleasure to drink.
Francophiles and martini lovers will adore the distinct flavors this vodka has to offer.
When you first try Grey Goose, you will be met by a slightly earthy sweetness. If you’re a fan of almonds and/or toffee, then you will be a number one fan of this vodka.
When you want your martini to be a little less dry, Grey Goose is the bottle to choose. We recommend blending it with Bianco Vermouth and a Meyer tangerine or lemon peel for the most divine flavors.
This top-quality Russian vodka goes through an extraordinary five-time filtration process. The result? Maximum smoothness and an ideal balance and harmony. Beluga Gold Line is rested after each step of its production.
Its final resting period lasts for 90 days to ensure it reaches a perfect balance.
Unique to this bottle, Beluga Gold Line is sold with a wooden hammer and a brush. This is to break the wax seal of these limited-edition bottles. Once opened, you will be met with floral notes and a delectable creamy aftertaste.
Add to a citrus-garnished martini to experience Beluga Gold Line in all of its splendor and glory.
Best vodka for a Cosmopolitan Martini
Originating in Sweden, Absolut Citron is one of the most popular choices for the famous Cosmopolitan martini. Infused with lemon, lime, mandarin orange, and grapefruit, this vodka is perfect when drunk neat or in cocktails.
With no added sugar, Absolue Citron is a healthier alternative to many of its competitors. Tried and tested by experts, the best results are when you mix Absolut Citron with cranberry and Cointreau.
Try it out for yourself!
Best Dry Martini Vodka
Unlike some of our previous entries, Woody Creek is only distilled once. This process is done from Rio Grande potatoes grown on a farm in the picturesque countryside outside of Aspen, Colorado.
With the unique environment in which the vodka is made, the result is a funky yet earthy type of vodka. Woody Creek is bold enough to shine through, even against some of the strongest tasting accompaniments.
For a Dirty Martini that is garnished with a blue cheese stuffed olive, Woody Creek is the right blend and pour to send your taste buds into a state of bliss.
Best for a Clean Martini
Here, we have a relatively new vodka from Ukraine. Produced especially for use in cocktails, Zirkova Together is the perfect accompaniment for a Clean martini.
Slow-filtered with birch charcoal, the spicy nature of the rye that goes into the mash is retained splendidly.
Along with the cool refreshing taste of the cucumber, this vodka may be new but it’s already becoming a legend.
The most potent part of this vodka is its crisp minerality from the spring water underground in Ukraine. This is responsible for the refreshing flavor and aftertaste that is so abundant in a martini prepared with Zirkova Together.
It’s recommended, by the manufacturer itself, to add an aromatic sage leaf as a garnish for the cocktail to complete the drink perfectly.
Best for a Full Bodied Martini
Incredibly velvety, Ultimat Vodka is made and produced in Poland. Sourced from potatoes, rye grain, and wheat, this vodka has a complex yet super satisfying after taste.
The rye ingredient produces a complexity to the drink. The potato adds a certain richness to the flavor and the wheat lends to an ultra-smooth finish. Altogether, you get the base for a delicious full-bodied round martini.
Best for a Lemon Drop Martini
If you’re in the mood for a Lemon Drop martini, then you should consider adding Ketel One Citroen into the mix. Produced in the Netherlands, this Dutch vodka is from a 330-year-old family distillery.
With that history behind it, there is no surprise that Ketel One Citroen is of the finest quality.
The vodka is copper pit distilled and is infused with four varieties of lemons as well as two types of limes. These combine to create a sweet flavor. One that has bright citrus high notes that mix wonderfully with triple sec and fresh lemon juice.
Best for an Apple Martini
Not only is the skull-shaped bottle eye-catching but the taste of Crystal head is mouth-watering.
Distilled four times from the sweetest Canadian peaches and cream corn, the process sees the corn get filtered a mammoth seven times through semi-precious Herkimer diamonds.
Crystal Head starts off with a fruit flavor but it finishes off with a polished and clean taste. When making an Apple martini, you should be reaching for this skull.
Or just take it out to impress friends and family. They’ll be in awe of Crystal head even before they have even tried it.
Best Budget vodka for a martini
With a peppery tasting note, Russian Standard can compliment a martini very well. With a price tag of around $20, it’s hard to find any vodka in a similar price range that is as impressive and easy to purchase.
Made using solid winter wheat from the Black Steppes and the purest glacial water, this vodka sums up and represents everything we know about Russian vodka’s character. Bold, big, and spicy.
And that without tasting the grain which shines through just enough. Distilled four times, Russian Standard is smooth and goes down a treat in a savory martini.
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