I was skimming The New York Post the other day for its usual ridiculous cover stories when I happened upon this particular article, which explained exactly how Robert De Niro takes his martinis. How cool is that? I am one of the many people who firmly believes that De Niro is one of the best actors of all time, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to drink as the man himself drinks. The martini is pretty simple, it’s just specific. You need at least three lemons, 2 for mixing and 1 for garnish, and you need to use a lot of ice. The result is a mild-tasting martini with a light lemon essence, but don’t be fooled. After three or four sips of this, you’ll be feeling it. When I tried it at first, I proclaimed that I could drink De Niro under the table if this is what he drinks. Ten minutes later, the alcohol hit me like a ton of bricks and I had to slow it down. Let me also say that I am not a vodka drinker. I can’t even remember the last time that I had anything with vodka in it, but I had to try this martini for obvious reasons. The lemon peel in the mixer really mellows out the strong vodka flavor, making this a really enjoyable martini. I can’t wait for spring, because this is definitely going to be a staple in my apartment when the weather warms up a bit. Pour yourself a martini, throw on your favorite De Niro flick (Raging Bull, in my case), and enjoy!
Your ingredients. Admittedly, we don’t drink that much vodka, but we had this little bottle of Grey Goose left over from a party we had.
First, get your garnishes ready by cutting off the ends of 1 lemon.
Now you are basically going to supreme the lemon from the inside – take your knife and run it along the actual fruit of the lemon to remove it.
This definitely isn’t the best picture to explain this, but if you look closely, you can see that the rind has been removed from the fruit.
Like this. Now cut the rind so that it is no longer a complete circle.
Twist the rind (carefully, so as not to rip it) and hold it in the twisted position for a few seconds.
At this point, it should hold its twisted shape. Make 6 of these for 2 drinks (our twists were a bit thick, so feel free to make yours thinner).
Now cut the rind off of the lemons like this on all sides, so that you end up with an almost square lemon and 4 peels from each lemon (use about 2 large lemons so you get 6 peels)
Now fill your shaker up to the brim with ice and stuff the 6 lemon peels into the shaker.
Pour in the vodka and vermouth.
I recommend wrapping a towel around the shaker before you start shaking it, because it will get very cold.
Kramer, however, is too manly to use a towel. Shake until you can’t shake any longer – your arm should really feel this! See, you’re getting a bit of a work out in before you enjoy your day’s reward.
Place 3 lemon twists in each martini glass (or hang one off of the side for a super fancy garnish) and strain the drink twice. If you don’t have another strainer, that’s fine, but straining it twice really makes it nice and smooth.
Serve and enjoy!
- 8 ounces (1 cup) good quality vodka (apparently De Niro likes Absolut, but we used Grey Goose because it is clearly better. Sorry Bob!)
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) dry vermouth
- 6 large chunks of lemon peel (about 2 large lemons worth)
- lots of ice
- 6 lemon twists, for garnish (about 1-2 large lemons worth) to make the twists, cut the peel away from the lemons around the circumference of the lemon, slice into strips, and twist in your hands until they maintain a curly-q shape)
- Fill your shaker to the brim with ice cubes. Cut the sides off of your lemons (see the photos above for reference) until you have 5 large chunks of peel with a little bit of the lemon still attached to them. Squeeze them into the shaker, then pour in the 4 ounces of vodka and the 2 ounces of dry vermouth. Seal the shaker, wrap a towel or cloth around it so it doesn't freeze your hand off, and shake until you can't shake anymore. Strain twice, and pour into 2 cold martini glasses with 3 lemon twists inside each.
- *Note: Our shaker just barely held all of this for 2 drinks. You may want to split this up and make 1 drink at a time if you are skeptical about the capacity of your shaker.