Let’s be honest, sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting down and unwinding with martini in hand. The seemingly simple cocktail began as a gin-based beverage, but has since evolved to include several variations, including the now beloved vodka martini. Unlike gin, which tends to have a more botanical and earthy flavor profile, vodka gives the classic cocktail a smoother, crisper, more modern feel.

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Furthermore, using a top-shelf vodka such as Ketel One, which is known for its freshness as well as its flavorful hints of citrus and honey, all but ensures your martini will be exceptionally soft, yet tasty.

While making a vodka martini isn’t quite as complicated as say, remembering who’s alive and who’s dead on “Game of Thrones,” we consulted with four expert bartenders and mixologists to develop some of the best martini recipes around, because why settle for mediocrity when you can have something amazing?

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