The 5 Best Vodkas to Mix in a Dirty Martini

Courtesy of Crystal Head

You don’t need to love gin to enjoy a Dirty Martini. In fact, smooth, clean vodka makes for a really lovely version of the drink, especially if you’re new to the briny, savory cocktail. Here, the five best vodkas to mix in your next Dirty Vodka Martini.

One of our favorite flavored vodkas on the market, this spicy, savory spirit makes one of the best Dirty Martinis we’ve ever had. It’s made from a variety of California-grown hot and sweet peppers (think jalapeños, serranos, habaneros, and red and yellow bell peppers), and the vibrant depth of flavor is more apparent with every sip. Drink a Dirty Martini made with St. George Green Chile Vodka before a meal to whet your appetite.

While we often chuckle when vodka brands tell us how many times they distill the liquid (because you can’t make a bad product taste good by number of distillations alone), we must say that Purity’s 34 distillations give the vodka an extremely smooth flavor. Organic winter wheat and malted barley are combined in a custom-built copper still to create a spirit with creamy, nutty flavors and a dry, long finish that can stand up to briny olive juice.

Crystal Head is mostly known for its killer bottle design, but the liquid inside is not to be overlooked—especially the brand’s Aurora expression. Housed in a stunning, iridescent bottle, the bold English wheat vodka is distilled five times and filtered seven times (three of the filters are layers of Herkimer diamonds). It gives the Dirty Martini a grain-forward, earthy flavor, which works really well to balance the drink’s signature brine.

It’s difficult to top Belvedere when it comes to smooth, clean flavor, which is why it mixes a perfect Dirty Martini time and again. The spirit is made from Polish Dankowski Rye, distilled four times, and is completely free of sugar and other additives. Medium bodied and rich, it has flavors of white pepper and spice on the palate with a nutty almond finish.

Reyka ($19)

This Icelandic vodka may be the most affordable on this list, but the price point certainly doesn’t make it any less tasty. Reyka is made using water from an arctic spring that runs through a 4,000-year-old lava field and distilled in a high-copper content Carter-Head still, so it only needs a single distillation to achieve its signature smooth flavor. It makes a crisp, easy-drinking cocktail that’s enjoyable for everyone, from Dirty Martini newbies to experts.