Five 5-Star Vodka Cocktails
Vodka is the most versatile of liquors
According to the Bartender's Bible by Gary Regan, "Vodka can almost be made from whatever happens to be lying around - beets are used in Turkey, while Britain tends to favor molasses - though most vodka is produced from potatoes, corn, and wheat."
Vodka is unique - it has almost no aroma, taste, or color. The word "vodka" comes from the Russian word for water. Consequently, it's a great vehicle for enhancing the flavor of other ingredients.
My favorite flavors in the world are chocolate and coffee - which is reflected in my choice of favorite Vodka cocktails!
Coffee Bean Martini
The only coffee in this recipe is the beans used as garnish. Go figure.
2 oz. Vanilla Vodka
1/2 oz. Sambuca
3 coffee beans
Instructions: Combine Vanilla Vodka and Sambuca in a cocktail shaker 1/2 full of ice. Shake vigorously, strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with coffee beans.
Note: The original Coffee Bean Martini recipe I found used unflavored vodka, but we've found that we prefer this with the aroma and slight sweetness of the Vanilla Vodka instead. Of course - it's up to you!
If any drink is my "signature" drink - it's this one. I developed this recipe after much trial-and-error, and it took quite a while, since I only have one drink per day. I wanted a Mocha Martini that wasn't too sweet - I find that most recipes are excessively sweet for my taste.
3 parts brewed Coffee, cold
2 parts unflavored Vodka
1 part Creme de Cacao
Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker half-full of ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass. There should be a "head" of foam on top.
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce Kahlua
Instructions: Pour ingredients into an old-fashioned glass almost full of ice cubes. Stir.
The Harvey Wallbanger was popular in the 1970s and I think many people have forgotten how delicious it truly is!
1 1/2 ounces vodka
4 ounces orange juice
1/2 ounce Galliano
Combine the vodka and orange juice in a highball glass almost full of ice. Stir. Float the Galliano on top.
Photo courtesy of mauitimeweekly on Flickr.com via Creative Commons.
Lemon Drop Martini
2 ounces fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3 ounces vodka
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
3-4 mint leaves
Instructions: Muddle (squish together repeatedly) the mint leaves and sugar in the bottom of a highball glass. Add ice until the glass is almost full. Add the vodka and lemon juice. Stir.
Photo courtesy of Yellow.Cat on Flickr.com via Creative Commons.
My favorite cocktail recipe book
My copy of this book is marked up like crazy. Each recipe I've tried has a "star rating" - my own of course. And I've learned the proportions needed for a great drink, and constantly scribble new ideas and new recipes in it. The book is arranged by the base liquor, and the index includes the mixers, so if you're in the mood for a drink with orange juice, you can easily find it. Or any other ingredient you have a taste for.