People across the country are gearing up for summer, making plans for vacations, poolside relaxation, barbecues, and romantic road trips. When it comes to our favorite sippers, it means “lightening up” by stashing the winter’s brown spirits and heavy red wines for lighter-bodied drinks that are crisp and refreshing tasting. This year, GREY GOOSE Vodka is perfectly poised to serve as your go-to summer spirit.
It helps that vodka Martini cocktails have made a comeback. From craft cocktail lounges to crowded sports bars, people are enjoying the chilled tang of a well-made Martini cocktail. They’ve taken center stage in pop culture throughout the years, from James Bond to the recent finale of “This Is Us,” but people sometimes think of vodka as a simple, uncomplicated spirit to produce. In fact, vodka can be as carefully crafted as any aged whiskey.
It’s an endlessly versatile spirit. Though often made from potatoes, wheat, rye, or corn, it can be crafted from almost anything — fruits, grains, even raw sugars like maple syrup. Each base results in a slightly different finished product and can give hints of fresh bread, citrus, apple, honey, and much more, with distinct viscosities and textures, different flavor profiles, and/or finishes.
In the case of GREY GOOSE, the base grain is soft, single-origin winter wheat harvested in Picardy in northern France and distilled nearby. The high-proof distillate is then brought down to the Cognac region, 250 miles to the southwest, to be brought to proof and bottled. Francois Thibault, the creator of GREY GOOSE, grew up in Cognac and wanted the vodka to celebrate its French origins, elevating it to its best possible expression. He will tell you that his role as cellar master (along with those of GREY GOOSE’s master distiller and master blender) is much like that of a fine baker or chef, ensuring that the best ingredients go into making the spirit. He notes that there are only two ingredients: the soft winter wheat from Picardie, and pure spring water from Gensac in the Cognac region. “Nothing is added to make it smoother,” Thibault will explain any time he’s asked. “The mouthfeel of GREY GOOSE is very important, and it’s 100 percent natural.” That’s one of many reasons it’s so popular in a classic Martini, where the quality of the dominant spirit is paramount.
Like the vodka at its core, a great Martini cocktail is versatile. Perhaps the best thing about the Martini cocktail is how easy it is to customize. You can tailor the ratio of vodka to vermouth (from wet to very dry) and garnish options are almost endless. The drink lends itself to a wide variety of additional mixers. Add some fresh juice purée, or other ingredients like ginger ale, a liqueur, or a hint of spice, and it still counts as a Martini cocktail, nestled perfectly in those iconic V-shaped glasses. It works equally well as a pre-dinner aperitif or as a stand-alone nightclub drink for the casual imbiber. In fact, there may be nothing more beguiling than a person who knows exactly how to order (or make) their ideal Martini cocktail with confidence.
With that, take a gander at some GREY GOOSE Martini cocktail variations designed to upgrade any evening, whether you’re savoring a backyard sunset or dancing on the trendiest rooftop in town. Most people are familiar with the classic version: GREY GOOSE Vodka, a bit of dry vermouth, and olives or a lemon twist. Or, if you prefer, a vodka Gibson garnished with cocktail onions.
Entertaining? Any of these can be batched in advance: Simply multiply the measurements by the number of guests and serve from an iced pitcher. For cocktails involving sparkling water/soda, either pour immediately or reserve till serving, and top each glass individually with the fizzy component.
There are so many wonderful ways to customize the drink, and you’ve got a whole summer to savor these intriguing variations.
A great Martini cocktail rests on a great spirit. It should be full-bodied, but velvety soft on the palate, and served very well chilled, and the vermouth should be fresh or properly stored in a refrigerator. While a five-to-one ratio is popular for a dry Martini cocktail, adjusting the amount of vermouth is a personal preference.
A riff on both the sweet Martini cocktail and the classic Parisian cocktail, this drink using blood orange juice can be customized with different fruit purées or juices. Aim for a rich, slightly tart juice (consider yuzu or raspberry, for example) to balance the sweetness of a red vermouth. Fresh, seasonal juices also work well.
Hibiscus tea (spiked or not) is a popular summertime cocktail in the Caribbean and American southeast. This flavorful highball pairs perfectly with backyard barbecues, picnics, and beach volleyball games.
This article is sponsored by GREY GOOSE® Vodka.
©2022. GREY GOOSE, ITS TRADE DRESS AND THE GEESE DEVICE ARE TRADEMARKS. IMPORTED BY GREY GOOSE IMPORTING COMPANY, CORAL GABLES, FL. VODKA – 40 % ALC. BY VOL. DISTILLED FROM FRENCH WHEAT.
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