The word “Martini” can have a number of different meanings, be it a vodka Martini, gin Martini, Dirty Martini, a Gibson, ultra-dry (skip the vermouth) or super-wet (a Reverse Martini) and every permutation in-between. When it comes to choosing the base spirit for one’s Martini, most are staunchly in one of two camps: gin or vodka, and each has its own distinct influence on the drink. This cocktail, Coco Chanel, puts a whimsical, floral spin on the classic vodka Martini with the addition of two interesting flavor elements—coconut and elderflower—which together call for somewhat of a blank canvas, hence the use of vodka in place of gin.
Great vodka can certainly be sipped on its own, but according to Master Blender Mark Simmonds of New Zealand’s Broken Shed Vodka, it’s also the most universal of spirits for mixing. “It’s the bread [that] carries all the other ingredients of the cocktail sandwich,” he says. “Like a good bread, a good vodka can also be a pleasure to consume and enjoy with [a] little accompaniment.”
This recipe calls for coconut vodka, but if you prefer to make your own, you can easily do so at home with just two ingredients: vodka and coconut. Simmonds shares a simple recipe for homemade coconut-infused vodka: “To infuse, [drain the water from the coconut] and chip out the meat. [Add the vodka and let it sit for] three to four days.” When infusing spirits, a good rule to live by is to taste your mixture after a few hours just to see how it’s doing (check sooner and more frequently when using spicy ingredients), then continue to taste regularly based on how the flavor progresses. When the infusion tastes like what you were going for, strain the solids from the liquid and store your finished product in a glass bottle or jug.
- 3 ounces coconut vodka
- 1 ounce elderflower liqueur
Add coconut vodka and elderflower liqueur into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.