When you mix Sherry with Vodka, the result is another one of those combinations where the mixture is far more complex than the parts. The Vodka is the backbone and the Sherry adds a dry, salty and almost nutty flavour element.
But before we wax too lyrically, you’ve got to remember that all the cocktails that use this combination of liquids are actually just variations on the classic Martini.
Now before you start to complain that only gin can make a classic martini, just realise that James Bond tended to prefer a Vodka Martini and that is not a man with whom you argue.
(If people had bothered to argue with him they might have pointed out that being spirit-based, he really should have asked for his drinks to be stirring rather than shaking – unless he actually wanted his vodka to be watered down).
But anyway, the exact origins of the Vodka Martini are a little hazy, but it is believed that the earliest known reference to the drink was in Ted Saucier’s ‘Bottoms Up’ in 1951. Yet even with this saucy little cocktail book and all the Bond references over the decades, it wasn’t until the rise of Vodka in the 1980s and 1990s that our favourite neutral spirit became a popular Martini choice.
Now, we all know that like the Vesper Martini, you can really only drink an ordinary Vodka Martini while wearing your finest tuxedo (the logic goes that if you look rich whole ordering, no-one will point out that it should actually be a couple of shots of gin going into that mixing glass).
But what can you do on these rare occasions when you accidentally leave your tuxedo at home? Obviously, this is where the Sherry comes in. As well as adding complexity to the drinks to which it is added, it also adds a reasonable cover, so that you can order your drink choice.
You see, once the Sherry is added, then it is no longer a Vodka Martini and subsequently, no ridicule will befall you. No matter what you are wearing you can safely ask for A Mid-Summer Martini, An Atomic Martini or a Salty Martini and there’s a fair chance that no-one around you will have the slightest idea that what you have done is actually ask for a Martini made on Vodka.
So don’t let anyone tell you that Vodka and Sherry don’t make an excellent combination, after all, we have seven drinks that show how wrong they are.