Vodka is a distilled alcoholic beverage that is usually available at an alcohol content of 40% to 95% (80 to 190 proof).
A dirty martini can be made with either gin or vodka but for this article, we will be looking at the best vodka for a dirty martini. Hopefully, this will give you some indication of which vodka brand to go with for your next martini.
- Purity Estate 17 Reserve Organic Vodka
- St. George Green Chile Vodka
- Grey Goose Vodka
- Reyka Vodka
- Square One Organic Rye Vodka
What to Consider Before Buying Vodka for a Dirty Martini
How to choose a vodka brand
First, you want to look at your budget. If you are making dirty martinis often, you will need to replace your vodka more often.
An expensive vodka may therefore not be a good idea if it is out of your means as you will need to pay more over the long run than if you were to buy a cheaper vodka.
The quality of the vodka is another consideration as you should be able to taste the alcohol within your martini. There is a misconception that lower-priced vodkas are of lower quality.
However, the ingredients and production methods used can affect the quality of the vodka, so some good-quality options are still affordable.
Things to look for in Vodka for a Dirty Martini
In a dirty martini, the flavor of the vodka can affect the overall taste of the drink. If you buy a flavored vodka, for instance, those flavors could affect whether the resulting martini is too sweet or too bitter. It is therefore better to look for an unflavored vodka with subtle and savory notes.
Olives have a slightly acidic and briny taste which is some of the appeals of a dirty martini so altering that flavor profile too much will affect the overall taste.
Certain tasting notes like crackers, wheat, or spice will enhance the overall taste of the drink and give it a slight kick.
What’s the best way to use vodka in a dirty martini?
A dirty martini can be made in 5 minutes using 2 ½ ounces of vodka, ½ ounce of dry vermouth, ½ ounce of olive brine, and 2 to 4 olives to garnish. The type of vodka you use is important as, unlike some other martinis, you want to be able to taste the spirit in the drink.
To make this, start by filling a mixing glass with ice. add the vodka, olive brine, and vermouth and stir until the ingredients are combined and chilled.
Next, strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with the olives. for the garnish, simply spear the olives onto a skewer and rest them within the glass.
Top 5 Best Vodka for Dirty Martini
Established in 2001, Purity Vodka is based in Skåne, Sweden with the ingredients used locally sourced. Purity’s Master Distiller, Stefan Magnusson, is the mastermind behind the production of Purity vodka, fin, and spritz.
Magnusson works alongside Mathias Tonnesson who is the Master Blender of Purity. Tonnesson has spent over 10 years refining the distillation process of Purity spirits following a lifetime of experimenting with different flavors and methods to create new spirits.
- Tasting Notes: This vodka has a sweet aroma of wheat, peach cobbler, and white whiskey with tasting notes of fruit and wheat. This vodka will help cut some of the acidity from the olives in a dirty martini while maintaining the strength and savory quality of the beverage.
- Price: At a cost of approximately $22 per 750 ml bottle, this vodka is an affordable option for someone wanting to buy a quality spirit to use in a variety of cocktails or mixers. Aside from dirty martinis, Purity has indicated this vodka is ideal for a Moscow Mule and a host of cocktails making it versatile and worth the investment.
- Additional Features: with a full body and a 17-step distillation process, this vodka is organic and vegan-friendly. Additionally, it is a kosher and gluten-free vodka making it ideal for someone with gluten intolerance or someone concerned about the production of their spirits.
St. George Vodka was established in 1982 by Jörg Rupf who joined forces with Lance winters who is now the Master Distiller for the brand.
When Winters applied for the job, his resume was a bottle of home-distilled whiskey which he used to show his expertise. The final member of the St. George ‘dream team’ is Dave Smith who is the Head Distiller.
The Green Chile vodka is made using non-GMO and high-proof alcohol which is combined with crushed jalapeños and lime peels. From there the mixture is distilled after which it is infused with the remaining peppers to create a spicy and refreshing vodka.
Finally, the mixture is filtered to remove any impurities to leave a clean and lightly green-tinted beverage.
- Tasting Notes: This vodka has a fresh and bright flavor profile with notes of pepper spice and capsicum which complement the citrus zest and fresh sweet bell pepper. Given the spicy and savory notes, this vodka would work well in a dirty martini by enhancing the flavors of the olives and adding a slight kick to the drink.
- Price: At a price of approximately $28, this vodka is an affordable middle-of-the-range option that can be used in a variety of drinks. Aside from a dirty martini, this vodka has been suggested as a base for a Bloody Mary, a Gimlet, or a Moscow Mule making it a versatile and useful item to have.
- How it is made: This vodka has been made with 5 peppers all grown in California, including jalapeños, habaneros, red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, and serranos. These peppers add a spicy element to the vodka, complementing the fresh cilantro and lime peel additions.
Grey Goose prides itself on being able to track the process of making its product from “crop to cork”. Every step involved in creating this vodka occurs in France, from harvesting the winter wheat, collecting the spring water, distilling, filtering, and bottling the final product.
Due to the winter wheat, which is harvested from a single origin, this vodka is a gluten-free spirit which is ideal for someone wanting to make a dirty martini but has a gluten intolerance or allergy.
The spring water used to distill the vodka is naturally filtered through limestone which removes any impurities or minerals that would affect the final product.
- Tasting Notes: Grey Goose has a clean and slightly grainy nose which compliments the hints of black pepper and almond. With a spicy and creamy finish, the main tasting notes of this vodka are star anise and rye. The savory quality of these notes will complement the olive brine in the martini, leaving a flavorful beverage.
- Price: Grey Goose has a middle-of-the-range price point with a cost of approximately $33 per 750 ml bottle. This is a decent price for the quality of the beverage and is versatile enough to be used in a variety of martinis and cocktails aside from a dirty martini. It would be well worth the investment given this versatility.
- Simple production: Grey Goose is made from only 2 ingredients, those being Gensac spring water and soft winter wheat. The simplicity of the production ensures quality control across each batch and leaves and refined and pure vodka products.
4. Reyka Vodka
Established in 2005, Reyka Vodka was launched by William Grant & Sons as the first green vodka in the world. Due to how clean the air is in Iceland; this vodka is prided on as being a pure and clean spirit.
Renewable energy is used to distill the vodka from the energy coming from underground volcanoes. The water is naturally filtered through lava rock, removing any impurities that could affect the final vodka product.
Reyka Vodka is a vodka made by Icelanders in Iceland. This is a local project with the brand’s master distiller and also the local fireman and policeman. A priority for the brand is keeping things local, with the harvesting of the wheat and barley, and the collection of the water all being close to home.
- Tasting Notes: Reyka Vodka has a fresh and natural-tasting palate with a nose of freshly cut hay and sweet rose. The palate has notes of lemon, pepper, rose, and lavender with a warm citrus ad toast element to it. This is a vodka that will complement the olives and dry vermouth, leaving a delicious and refreshing dirty martini.
- Price: At a cost of approximately $19 per 750 ml bottle, this is an affordable vodka option. If you are planning on making homemade dirty martinis more often, this vodka is a good option as it will not cost too much in the long run.
- How it is made: Reyka vodka is made using glacial spring water collected from a spring that flows through a 4-thousand-year-old lava field. Due to the natural purification, this water is collected clean and results in a refreshing and pure vodka product. It is distilled in small batches to ensure consistency across each batch.
Established in 2006, Square One Organic Rye Vodka was created by Alison Evanow who is a spirit and cocktail lover.
She created the company after many years in the spirits industry when her concern about the number of additives and artificial ingredients in spirits became too much. Her goal was to create an organic and clean spirit as there weren’t enough similar items available on the market.
Their vodka is made from 100% organic American-grown rye using only natural nutrients and organic yeasts during production. Water is collected from a watershed near the Teton Mountains which is pure and naturally filtered. This leaves a final vodka product that is pure, clean, and refreshing.
- Tasting Notes: Square One vodka has a rich and nutty taste to it with a medium body on the tongue. The aftertaste is slightly grain-like, which will work well with the taste of the olive brine in the martini. This is not a vodka that will be overwhelmed by the additional ingredients, nor will it greatly affect the taste of the martini.
- Price: At an average price of $33, this vodka is more of an expense than a cheaper option would be. if you are planning on drinking a dirty martini more often you may want to consider your budget over time. However, the price reflects the premium quality of the vodka which is something you want to look for in a martini.
- Additional features: Square One vodka goes through a continuous distillation process which ensures that the resulting vodka product is pure and free from impurities. After it has been filtered, the final product is bottled at an ABV of 40% (80 proof).
Best Vodka for Dirty Martini – Final Thoughts
The best vodka for a dirty martini can be subjective depending on what you would prefer to spend and what the underlying notes you are looking for are. There are some additional concerns such as being able to use the vodka with other drinks as well as the nutritional information of the vodka.
For someone who has a gluten intolerance or allergy, Grey Goose is a good middle-of-the-range vodka option. The vodka is made with winter wheat and is completely handmade and monitored to ensure its quality. Square One Vodka is a good option for someone who does not mind spending a little more per bottle and who is concerned about whether their spirits are organic and clean.
However, if you are looking for a refreshing and natural-tasting vodka that is a bit more affordable, our top pick would be Reyka. Like Square One, Reyka has a goal to create a clean vodka with their priority lying more in the resources used to make the beverage rather than the organic quality of the ingredients.
St. George Green Chile Vodka is a good vodka option for someone wanting to use it to make more beverage options, with the brand indicating it can be used for a Moscow Mule, Gimlet, or Bloody Mary. Another versatile vodka option is Purity, which can be used in a wide variety of cocktails and mixers.
Hopefully, this article has helped you decide which vodka you will be trying next and how the benefits of each of the options could be better for you.