Help my fledgling alcohol snobbery!

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned on here before, I consider myself a bit of a vodka snob… which is weird to some folks, because I hate Grey Goose and those other “Top Shelf” vodka’s that are nowhere near as good to drink neat as a nice chilled Stoli.

What I need at this point is good recipes for common drinks… rum and coke, Vodka Cranberry and such are only getting me so far.

How do I make a martini?
A screwdriver?
A Vodka Collins?

anything else would be great.
Note: I cannot drink ANYTHING with Tequila, as it induces almost instant vomiting. So please, I don’t care how good your Tequila Sunrise is, I’m not making it. Nor do I want to know how.

I assume here we are talking about vodka martinis only. Vodka martinis are nice but are not really martinis. The true martini is made with gin and gin only ( and ice and dry vermouth and an olive, but you get the point ).

The martini is really simple to make but it takes a lot of practice to actually get the hang of it. All you’ll need is vodka, some dry vermouth ( here in Brazil Martini & Rossi is not expensive and pretty good), a lime, some ice and a shaker. And a cocktail glass ( the triangular kind ), the glass makes a difference, don’t ask me why.

I like my martinis very, very dry but most people like it a bit more delicate. Dryness in a martini refers to how little vermouth goes in it. The lesser the amount of vermouth the dryer the martini. When you make yours you’ll have to play around with the dosage to find out how you like it yours. Also, with vodka martinis I prefer a piece of lime peeling instead of the tradicional olive but you should try it both ways.

Just like James Bond’s your martinis should always be shaken, not stirred. Stirred martinis aren’t as cold and a martini should always be very cold or it’ll taste like gasoline. Martinis made with gin should be stirred because when you shake them you’ll be oxidising all the oils that give gin its taste. ( Disclaimer: That is the explanation I’ve read most frequently. It may be wrong. All I know is that my martinis taste best when they are stirred).

There is debate on when and where the vermouth should be added. You can do it on the glass and pour the vodka over it, on the shaker with the vodka or on the glass after you’ve poured the chilled vodka. I recomend you pour it on the glass before you add the vodka or in the shaker with it. I usually pour just a little bit on the glass beforehand and swill it around a bit so it covers the glass’ walls.

With all that said:

Add vermouth to glass ( unless you prefer to do it later )
Fill the shaker with ice
Add vodka ( and maybe vermouth )
Shake it very much
Pour on glass
Cut a peeling of lime skin, twist it gently, rub the inner face to border of the glass, drop in the glass
Drink it before it gets warm

I hope you enjoy it.

Are you the same Tristan who’s in the SCA in Golden Rivers?

If so, is Francis Goodfellow of Amrist still around?

If so, is he still offering people slugs of Breton Fire?

If so, DON’T DRINK IT. You don’t need that sort of eddication.

Find yourself a nice potato vodka, like Teton Glacier, and you’ll put the Stoli away for good.

I like a White Russian: equal parts Vodka and Kahlua, pour over the rocks and add milk to taste. Stir.

Nice martini explanation there, MusicJunkie FWIW, I’ve heard you add the vemouth to the shaker with the ice and then dump the vemouth out. The vermouth left clinging to the ice and the sides of the shaker is the correct amount for a martini. That sounds about right to me.

By the way, what is it with “martini” becoming synonymous with the word “cocktail” these days? I went to a bar friends claimed had “good martinis” and I’m beseiged by a menu full of abominations such as “chocolate martini,” “sour apple martini,” “espresso martini.” I don’t care what you call them, but don’t call them martinis, because they are not. Listen very carefully to me, Tristan. This is important to your edification as an alcohol snob. A martini must have gin (or, grudingly, vodka) and vermouth. Anything else is a cocktail, NOT a martini.

Screwdriver aka Vodka Orange – this one’s easy. Pour vodka over ice in highball glass. Pour in orange juice (freshly squeezed if you’ve got it.) Voila. Screwdriver. As for ratios, use 2 to 2.5 times as much orange juice as vodka. If you want to be fancy schmancy, you can add a few drops of Angostura bitters in at the end.

One of my favorite summer drinks is the gin & tonic. If you prefer vodka, try a vodka tonic. Personally, I far prefer gin vs. vodka in this drink, as the gin has a flavor that nicely complements the tonic, while vodka doesn’t taste like anything.
Same recipe as above, just substitute tonic for the orange juice. Garnish with lime.

Long Island Iced tea. Different recipes abound, but this is the one I like: Take one part each of the “five whites”: vodka, gin, light rum, triple sec, and tequila (you can omit this since you don’t like it…although I doubt you’ll taste it in the final concoction) and pour them over ice in a shaker Add about two parts of Sweet & Sour mix or Sour Mix. Shake. Pour into a glass and top the glass off with a splash of cola.

And one last favorite summer drink: the mojito. Take a few sprigs of mint, bruise it and add it to a tall thin glass. Add a couple teaspoons of sugar (tip: substitute corn syrup for the sugar, as it dissolves MUCH better) and a few tablespoons of lime juice. Stir thoroughly. Add ice. Add a jigger of rum. Top off with club soda.
Garnish with lime and mint. Yumm. Yumm.

Long Island Ice Teas taste like lemonade, not alcohol, by the way. That’s why you won’t taste the tequila. You can replace the sour mix with Cointreau if you’re feeling 'spensive.

I was reading on webtender different recipes for LITs, and one said to add a CAN of pepsi. Splash, people, splash. It’s for color!


Sounds like you need a good bartender’s book. Gives you ratios for drinks, which is the hardest part about making a good cocktail.

Ugh to Stoli’s!
I’m a Belvedere fan here. I’ve never had a hangover from it and it’s smooth as can be. I do like Grey Goose but nearly as much as Belvedere.

I few hints for your Vodka Martini’s:
Keep your vodka in the freezer
Keep your vermouth in the refrigerator. Watch out though, vermouth like wine when opened has a limited shelf life and will go bad/sour.
Splurge on your olives or cocktail onions. They make a yummy “tini” even better. Try the ones soaked in vermouth that you find in the liquor store and not the grocery store.


Every time I see or hear someone make this assertion, I can’t help but involuntarily roll my eyes. Either people are vastly exaggerating the taste of these things or I have the most alcohol sensitive palate of anyone I know since the alcohol (especially the vodka, which I hate) is all I tast.

Snobby high end cocktails - my favorite! Mr. Athena and I have come up with a few over the years. My favorite are top shelf margaritas, but you said no tequila, so I guess that’s out.

To make truly good cocktails, you have to stay away from mixes. To stay away from mixes, you must have sugar syrup around. So we will start with sugar syrup:

1 part sugar
1 part water

Mix together in sauce pan. Bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, until sugar is fully dissolved. Store in fridge for basically forever.

Second Must-Have: limes and lemons. Many cocktails benefit greatly from fresh lime and lemon juice. I buy limes 10 or 15 at a time. Lemons, a bit less. They last in the fridge for a long time.

You also need a cocktail shaker.

OK, now that we have the basics down, here’s a few recipes:

Sours (ie, Whiskey Sour, Amaretto Sour, Vodka Sour, etc)

In a shaker, mix 1.5 shots fresh lemon juice, 1 shot sugar syrup, 1 shot liquor of choice. Shake, pour over ice. Add a cherry if you want. Try it with lime juice if you want. Adjust the proportions of lemon/lime juice and sugar to your taste.


In a tall glass, place 6-8 fresh mint leaves, 1 shot sugar syrup, 1 shot lime juice, 1 shot light rum. Muddle (that is, mix and squoosh the mint leaves to release their taste). Fill glass about 3/4 way up with club soda. Mix gently with spoon as to not make club soda go flat. Fill glass with ice. Serve.

The best Greyhounds you’ll ever have

Buy a whole pile of white grapefruit. Ruby red works too, but white is better. Juice.

Mix together 1 shot vodka and fresh grapefuit in ice filled glass. Drink. It’s bloody amazing how good this is. Miles and away better than anything made with non-fresh juice.

That’s all I can think of right now… if I think of more I’ll come back!

Go to and look through the drink database. It’ll give recipes and a history of each drink (of which there are hundreds). You can search it by base liquor (vodka drinks vs. gin drinks vs. bourbon drinks).

I make my martinis “in and out,” at a ration of about 5:1 (gin or vodka to dry vermouth).

Ice in the shaker
Vermouth on the ice
Dump the vermouth
Add gin or vodka
Shake or stir
Strain into martini glass
Hold the trash (no garnish)

5:1 (or thereabouts) is a good ratio for Martinis. Here’s my recipe.

1(750ml) bottle Good Gin (tastes vary. I like Saphire, but am trying Citadelle.)
100ml Dry vermouth
100ml Sweet vermouth (It make for a nice color in the fisihed product)
50ml water (to simlulate the melted ice when using a shaker.)

Pour into a 1 liter bottle, keep in the freezer.

I use a cordial glass for mine. It seems to keep it cooler than the wide martini glasses.

You also can’t go wrong with a whiskey and soda.
1-2 jigger(s) any blended whiskey or burbon.
pour over a couple ice cubes.
splash club soda.

On a warm summer day, a good G&T will hit the spot.
1-2 jigger(s) good gin (I like Tanq for G&Ts)
pour over a couple ice cubes.
splash tonic water
Lime juice (not Roses) or wedge
dash salt. (Mr Moto suggested I try bitters. haven’t yet, so I can’t recommend.)

Or if you want to show off with a cocktail, try the Gin Gimlet.
2:1 Good martini gin to Roses lime juice
Stir over ice

Since you prefer Stoli to Grey Goose, as I do, might I suggest you give Shakers Rye vodka a try. Thoug Grey Goose and its similar bretherin are indeed very smoothe, they lose out for me because their taste is too mellow and muted.
I’ll also suggest that if you have a vodka that is too mellow for your tastes it is the perfect vehicle for creating your own vanilla vodka. Buy a vanilla bean, make a slice through it length ways from a half inch bellow the top to a half inch bellow the bottom and then place the bean into the Vodka bottle ensuring it is completely covered in vodka. Leave this in the fridge for two weeks, then serve the vodka chilled neat or on the rocks. If you like it you can allways top up the vanilla vodka bottle with more vodka the bean will last and give flavour for many months.


Yep, that would be me, though I haven’t been to an event in over 2 years.
Francis Goodfellow… sort of a swarthy looking fellow, longish curly hair? If we’re talking about the same person, I think I may have had the displeasure.

I like to drink.

A slug of home distilled moonshine is not my idea of drinking…
As to all the other information, it seems to only variant in these is ratio and brands…

I think next month is gonna be something at my house… Hehehhe…

Off to search the web!

Some would disagree on the Teton front.

I agree with your White Russian comments - an amazing drink.
I have a lot to thank the Big Lebowski for.

D’oh - forgot to finish post.

When having a white russian put Two Parts Vodka (from the freezer) to One part Kaluha.
Add ice and milk - the amount varies per person what they like.

Your Vodka Collins is 3 oz. vodka, juice from one lemon, a little bit of sugar syrup, and topped with soda.

The Harvey Wallbanger is a Screwdriver with a little (like a tablespoon) of Galliano in it, on the rocks, but that’s not likely to raise your snob quotient.

There’s also a Road Runner, which is a shot of vodka, half shot of Amaretto, half shot of coconut juice. If you want to get fancy, shake it with ice and strain it.

I recall a drink with 1:1 pepper vodka and tomato juice, but I don’t remember its name.

There was also a drink with vodka, Benedictine and lemon juice, but again, I can’t recall the name.