No Longer Dirty

All photos by Danielle Macdonald.

Vodka is a drink many of us have tried in a traditional cocktails such as Moscow Mules, Screwdrivers or Dirty Martinis, but many people in the neoclassic cocktail world eschew vodka for other spirits. However, there’s still a market for it, but why reach for the same old bottles? While diversifying cocktails, try a more interesting vodka brand. It is amazing how varied, pure and decadent vodka can be.

By adding a special vodka to a unique cocktail, taste buds will be performing a Cossack Dance around the mouth, while spirits will be educated into the endless possibilities of vodkas on the market. So chuck out the alco-pops, kick out the Mule, screw the driver and do the dirty on the Martini: it’s time for a vodka makeover!


Fill a tall class a quarter full with crushed ice. Place the raspberries, water, vodka and umeshu in a blender and pulse until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, pour into glass and consume.


  • 2 oz/60 mL vodka (Purity Vodka 34 from Sweden is recommended for its – as the name suggests – pure, unfiltered characteristics with fruity undertones – gold medal, 2018 NYISC)
  • 1 oz/30 mL pear juice
  • 2 tsp key lime juice
  • Garnish with sliced cucumber

Shake vodka, key lime juice and pear juice with ice. Strain into a tall, ice filled glass. Garnish with sliced cucumber.



For all those craving something sweet but with more refined flavors, here is a decadent way to sip a cocktail and indulge in two of the best inventions ever made; chocolate and vodka.

Melt the chocolate over a pan of boiling water until smooth, then pour into a glass container (an old jam jar is perfect). Stir in half of the vodka and one spoon of the cream. Place the contents in a shaker with ice and add macadamia nut liqueur with rest of the vodka and cream. Shake well, strain and pour into a large glass. Garnish with dark chocolate shavings.