Vodka Martini With a Twist

1 martini
5 min

With my husband Robert’s unique Vodka Martini recipe, you can surprise and wow your friends and family at your next gathering. He’s become known far and wide for his super popular dry martinis, which call for a special ingredient and no vermouth. They are easy to make – and you can even whip up a batch ahead of time!

From the time we first started dating, Robert and I have always enjoyed sharing a martini together. Even when we’re traveling around the country in our Airstream trailer, Robert’s often whipping up a scrumptious batch of martinis. His favorite recipe is his Vodka Martini with a Twist.

These days, we tend to enjoy Robert’s special vodka martinis at home. His secret? He swaps out the vermouth for Cointreau (an orange-flavored liqueur)! The result is a scrumptious cocktail that is cool, clean, velvety smooth, and not sweet but with very slight fruity overtones. The very first martini recipe reportedly called for orange bitters, so Robert’s recipe actually hearkens back to the martini’s beginnings!

Robert’s tips on making a perfect vodka martini

Here are Robert’s secrets on how to take your martinis from good to great:

  • Always serve your martinis up – that is, without ice. Martinis are meant to be sipped, and even large ice cubes will melt before you’re done and dilute the flavors.

  • Chill your martini glasses. You can chill your glasses either by putting them in the freezer or filling them with ice water to quick-chill for 2 to 3 minutes just before using.

  • Put all the ingredients and a handful of ice cubes in your shaker and shake vigorously for around 10 to 15 seconds. You want it not only to be very cold, but also to form ice crystals that will then float on top of the martini.

  • Use a separate cocktail strainer to pour the shaken mixture into your chilled martini glasses. Often the strainers built into shakers don’t tend to work very well – and don’t let the ice crystals flow through to the glass.

And, here are answers to martini-related questions I often get asked:

  • What makes a martini dry? A martini is considered “dry” if it has very little vermouth; and “very dry” if it has no vermouth. Robert’s martinis have no vermouth, but we don’t call them “very” dry because of the other ingredient he puts in place of the vermouth.

  • Shaken or stirred? Well, for the most part it’s personal preference. Robert I like our vodka martinis very cold, so like James Bond, we prefer our martinis shaken. In fact, we have a growing collection of martini shakers – crystal, silver and aluminum.

  • Olives or a twist for the garnish? We prefer a lemon twist in our martinis, and I include directions on how to make a lemon twist in the recipe!

  • What vodka do you recommend using in martinis? One of the keys to a great martini is to use top quality vodka. In general, we prefer Tito’s or a Colorado brand, Silver Tree. When we’re traveling the country in our Airstream trailer, we make a point to seek out and try local craft vodkas. We’ve had fun trying them all!
Vodka Martini With a Twist
Recipe details
  • 1  martini
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 0 Minutes Total time: 5 min
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  • 5 ounces (about 2/3 cup) good quality vodka
  • Splash to 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Cointreau, or other orange flavored liqueur. Can also use ginger liqueur
  • Lemon twist – see directions in Notes section

Fill martini or coupe glasses with ice water to quickly chill; let stand 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and dry.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes (large cubes won’t melt as quickly as small cubes in the spirits and/or liqueur).
Add vodka and Cointreau and shake vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds.
Pour through a cocktail strainer into a chilled martini glass.
Rub a lemon twist around the rim of the glass, then drop it into the martini.
  • How to make a lemon twist: Using a vegetable peeler, start near one of the poles of the lemon and cut downward to get a wide strip of lemon peel. Try to get as little of the white part as possible as it is bitter. If desired, cut in half vertically if twist is very thick.
Seasoned Kitchen
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  • Well I am in. Love that you all are RV'ers. Last year was a bust for us and hoping we can get in somewhere this year. Thanks for such a luscious recipe. Can't wait to try it.

    • Seasoned Kitchen Seasoned Kitchen on Feb 13, 2021

      Thank you! I hope you all are able to get out this year. There's nothing like exploring our beautiful country on the road!