The In and Out Style Martini with Grey Goose Vodka
By Matt Goldstein
The Grey Goose Vodka martini is very smooth with a lot of flavor. There is a touch of tangy citrus with a perfect and slight vodka burn on the lips. The bite gets stronger as the martini vanishes, which we love. Good vodka must have a bite! There was very little vermouth in the martini glass as it was the in and out style but I’ve never tasted a vodka that compliments the vermouth so well. Overall, Grey Goose is a smooth, full flavored vodka with medium bite with a light and dry aftertaste. Grey Goose is an excellent premium vodka!
Next time we will taste the Grey Goose blind. There is no doubt that this vodka will stand up to its name. Editor’s Note: We did use Grey Goose in a double blind taste test and it came in last and came in behind some extremely inexpensive vodka’s. Read about it here.
According to their website, Grey Goose Vodka is crafted from the finest French wheat, with water naturally distilled through champagne limestone and distilled according to the traditions of the Cognac region.
The Organic Prairie Vodka is smooth but also has an excellent bite with a great vodka flavor. Many people believe that the smoother the vodka the better. I couldn’t disagree more. Vodka needs to have a bite to really accentuate the taste. And that’s exactly why Organic Prairie Vodka is a two time gold medal winner. The bite matches the vodka flavor extremely well. Whether on the rocks, or in a martini, the Prairie vodka stands on its own. I prefer Prairie vodka over many premium vodkas on the market and for about $15 a bottle, it’s an excellent buy.
Prairie Vodka is crafted in Benson Minnesota and distilled 4 to 6 times. Prairie is certified USDA Organic and certified Kosher by the Orthodox Union. Prairie is made with USDA organic yellow #2 corn, and grown by the farmers who own the distillery. Prairie won a gold medal at the 2008 Los Angeles Wine & Spirits competition and won 2 gold medals at the San Francisco world spirits competition.
Chopin Vodka is a small batch, 4 times distilled potato vodka from Poland. Chopin Potato Vodka is exceptionally smooth with a solid flavor. Although it may be a bit too smooth; and perhaps the lack of bite takes away slightly from the flavor, Chopin is very much an excellent vodka. The first time I had a Chopin Vodka martini was right after an Ultimat Vodka martini. The Ultimat Vodka martini was a complete disappointment. Ultimat didn’t taste like vodka at all actually, but more like stale wet paper. After the Ultimat, the Chopin martini tasted like liquid gold. Now, being that it wasn’t much of a contest, I had 5 more Chopin martini’s this weekend to see if it could stand on its’ own. The martini’s were prepared with the In and Out style so the vodka carried the most weight. The Chopin performed very well. Again, it was exceptionally smooth and is probably the smoothest potato vodka on the market. For an inexperienced vodka drinker, smoothness might be the most important factor, however, for a vodka connoisseur; one might be expecting slightly more flavor and bite. For about $30, the Chopin Potato Vodka is an exceptional vodka and much better than the more expensive Ultimat, which retails for just under $50. Chopin Potato Vodka is named after FrédéricFrançois Chopin, the famous Polish composer and was introduced in 1993. Chopin Potato Vodka was introduced to the United States in 1997.
A Potato Vodka Complimented with Grand Marnier and Domain de Canton
Created by Zach Stamler, written by Matt Goldstein
Inspired by an open bar in Old City Philadelphia’s premiere martini bar, the Continental, a somewhat lit Zach had the itch to start experimenting and created a work of art. This work of genius started with Luksusawa Potato Vodka, Grand Marnier and Canton liqueur’s to compliment. Domaine de Canton is a small batch liqueur made with the finest eaux de vie in France, XO and VSOP Grand Champagne Cognacs only. With ginger root from Indo China, the Canton is then hand made with all natural ingredients; Tahitian vanilla beans, Provencal honey, and Tunisian ginseng.
According to their web site, “Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur was inspired by the French tradition in which sweet and fresh elixirs were fortified by fine eaux de vie and Cognac. Named for the ginger estate of Domain de Canton, this aromatic elixir first became popular with the French during colonial Indochina.”
Grand Marnier is an orange liqueur made from Cognac and hand picked Caribbean oranges which are slowly aged in French Oak casks.
1.5 parts Luksusawa Vodka
.5 parts Grand Marnier Liqueur
.5 Parts Domain de Canton liqueur
1 orange slice soaked in bitters
Put the orange peel in the bitters and drop into a chilled martini glass. Add the vodka, Canton and Grand Marnier into the iced filled shaker and shake hard for 8-10 seconds.
Pour the shaker over the orange peel and serve…
The Grand Marnier can be substituted with Cointreau and the Luksusawa can be substituted with a potato vodka such as Glacier, Chopin or Boyd & Blair.
Ultimat Vodka is the only vodka in the world that is distilled from grain and potato and also comes from the birthplace of vodka, Poland. We’ve been wanting to try this vodka for months since we bought a bottle for my Dad as a birthday gift. (He doesn’t share his expensive vodka with me, lol.) It’s about $45-50 per bottle so it’s not a vodka that we would buy on a normal occasion. However, Friday night was my cousins’ rehearsal dinner and it was open bar at the Continental in Old City Philadelphia. It was the most expensive vodka on the shelf so myself and Eric Duncan, a scotch and vodka connoisseur, ordered a couple martini’s. Eric takes it dirty and I like it clean, the In and Out style so one can taste mostly all vodka. Ultimat was unimpressive to say the least. As a matter of fact, I didn’t like it at all. Neither did Eric. He didn’t even believe me when I told him it was the most expensive vodka on the shelf. For me, Ultimat tasted like wet cardboard or some type of paper and it did not have that vodka flavor. There was no flavor and it had zero bite. Yes, it was smooth, but who cares when the taste is just plain bad. It was actually one of the worst martini’s I’ve ever had. Thankfully, the bartender stepped in to save the day and recommended Chopin. It was excellent. Chopin retails for about $30-35 per bottle so if you are interested in a “premium” vodka, we highly recommend it. We also had Absolute martinis at the wedding and they were very solid. Props to the wedding bartender for those “illegal” shots of Patron!
Top 10 Vodka’s Under $20: The Best Bang for Your Buck
1. Glacier Potato Vodka, distilled by Teton, Rigby, Idaho
2. Danzka, grain vodka, Copenhagen, Denmark
3. Tito’s Hand Made Vodka, distilled 6 times, Austin, TX
4. Olifant, grain vodka, Schiedem, Holland
5. Prairie Organic Vodka, made with yellow corn, Minneapolis, MN
6. Finlandia, made from glacial spring water and barley, Ilmajoki, Finland
7. Fris, made from all natural whole wheat and spring water, 6 times distilled, Denmark
8. Svedka Citron, all natural 5 times distilled, made with winter wheat, Sweden
9. Pinnacle, made with wheat grain from the Brie region, 4 times distilled, France
10. Skyy, made from wheat and geared towards martini drinkers, San Jose, CA
11. Reyka, made with Icelandic water filtered by ancient lava rocks, Borgarnes, Iceland
12. Koenig Potato Vodka, small batch slow crafted with Idaho potatoes, Idaho
A very common misconception about vodka is that it’s mostly made from potatoes, but according to Teton, 99% of vodkas are made from grains, wheat, corn and rye. Our number 1 choice, Teton’s Glacier, stands out from the crowd with an exceptional smoothness but yet distinct flavor, priced at about $20. Number 2 on the list, Danzka, is perhaps the smoothest vodka we’ve ever tasted and isn’t more than about $14 at retail. Glacier and Danzka could stand up to any “premium” vodka in the world but yet are priced for the average drinker. Our number 8, Svedka, is actually the fastest growing vodka in the world, specifically because of its drinkability and price, about $14. This list of 12 vodkas under $20 can satisfy any vodka drinker in the world. Yes, there are some great “premium” vodkas out there, but there is no need to blow your entire paycheck just to act cool. Any of these 12 will do just fine for a shot, martini or mixed drink. You don’t have to buy these vodkas for their price either; buy them for their quality and taste.
The In and Out Martini is simple. Take a martini glass, pour a very small amount of vermouth into the glass, just enough to swirl around the glass and wet the sides. Wet the sides, and then pour it out. In and Out! Take a martini pick with 3 olives, shake off the olive juice over the jar and lay the olives in the glass. Fill your shaker completely with ice; add 3 parts vodka and shake hard for 30 seconds. Pour the vodka over the olives and you’re done. Sip and enjoy.