Entertaining guests for any luxurious dinner party brings with it a long list of challenges from food preparation, decorating to the choice of drinks to serve. When cocktails are on the menu these challenges are made ever more apparent by the seemingly endless list of spirits typically required to fill a basic cocktail list. But with some smart decisions you can delight your guests with a comprehensive cocktail menu starting with aperitifs, taking you through to dinnertime drinks, and even after dinner cocktails with just one exclusive vodka selection.
A cocktail hour with vodka
In the world of spirits vodka reflects subtle sophistication and style. Rather than infusing with rare botanicals as commonly found in gin, or the long-term maturation and blending of whisky, vodka is defined by what is not there, reflecting a refined balance of texture, softness and warmth. Not only is it one of the cleanest spirits, but it is also one of the most versatile, lending itself to a delicious range of refreshing cocktail choices for your dinner guests without the need to fill an entire liquor cabinet.
When selecting the perfect bottle of vodka to accompany your menu, it is important to have a high quality spirit base as this is the core ingredient for any good cocktail. Impurities in any spirit can be undesirable, especially for vodka, and as such choosing a product which has been through extensive purification, such as multiple distillation and carbon filtration is essential. Selecting a luxury vodka not only guarantees your guests will enjoy dinner drinks of the highest standard, but it also allows for the vodka itself to become a feature and story of the evening.
A new and exciting luxury vodka that hit the shelves in 2014 is VDKA 6100 from New Zealand. Co-owned by esteemed actor Robert De Niro, VDKA 6100 is a seamless and bold spirit made using fresh seasonal whey and naturally filtered spring water from the Reporoa Caldera volcanic ranges in New Zealand’s North Island. During manufacture it is triple distilled and carbon filtered, resulting in a balance of silk and heat - exceptionally smooth. Unique floral and citrus notes further add to its complexity. This is of little surprise for a luxury vodka such as this one. At its base it has one of the lowest methanol counts in the world, entering the marketplace with a style and finesse reflecting the best in its class.
Making the perfect cocktail menu
For starters, simplicity is key
When your guests arrive greet them with their choice of VDKA 6100 over the rocks with a splash of water, or poured over ice in a tall glass with soda water and a slice of lime. As it is made from seasonal whey the 6100 is a little more robust than traditional vodkas produced from grains or wheat. Serving over ice is a wonderful way to show its true expression, while a splash of soda makes for a crisp and refreshing opener to the evening.
Following the first course you can now cross into some fresh classics, offering choices of a Moscow Mule for pungent and spicy ginger, or a Black Russian for something a little sweeter with hints of clove, vanilla and coffee. To serve a Moscow Mule pour one shot of VDKA 6100 over ice with fresh lime and fill with a lively ginger beer. For a Black Russian, combine 30mL of VDKA 6100 with 15mL coffee liqueur over ice in a tall glass and fill with coke.
End the evening with a classic
Following dinner, we recommend you head towards a classic Espresso Martini for the most exceptional and elegant of digestif cocktails. In a cocktail shaker combine 30mL of freshly poured espresso with 30mL VDKA 6100 and 15mL coffee liqueur. Fill with ice, shake vigorously and strain into chilled wine or cocktail glasses garnishing each with three fresh coffee beans. If you don’t happen to have a cocktail shaker at hand never fear, pulsing with a household blender produces a brilliant layering of colour and creamy texture.
After dinner your work is done, serving a delicious dedication to a worthy spirit without the need for a full bar. All that is left is to tell the story. What better place to start than with a luxury vodka produced by Robert De Niro.