Vanilla Martini

Vanilla martinis in glasses

The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
276 Calories
0g Fat
26g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 276
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 5mg 23%
Calcium 3mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 34mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This flavored martini is one of the easiest ways to enjoy a sweet vanilla flavor in a neat drink. The vanilla martini gets its flavoring from a vanilla liqueur, which is not the most common on liquor store shelves.

Originally, this martini from Belvedere Vodka featured Navan, a naturally flavored vanilla liqueur that was utterly delicious. It has since been discontinued, much to the dismay of its many loyal fans, so a substitute is required. Tuaca, Bols Vanilla, and Galliano are all viable vanilla liqueurs and each will make a great vanilla martini. You might also try Brinley Gold Shipwreck Vanilla Rum, which has a flavor that is surprisingly reminiscent of what Navan offered.

When you find a great vanilla spirit and pair it with a smooth vodka such as Belvedere, a wonderful cocktail is born. The lime juice is included to offset the sweetness and add a welcomed splash of citrus flavor.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Vanilla martini ingredients in glasses and a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  2. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

    Ice, vodka and vanilla liqueur in a cocktail shaker

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  3. Shake well.

    Shake the cocktail shaker

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

    Vanilla martini in a glass

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack


  • Since there are only three ingredients in this martini, it's imperative that you use a top-shelf vodka. If you're going to use a substitute for Belvedere, make sure it's of equal quality.
  • For the lime juice, simply cut a lime wedge and squeeze it into the shaker. You want just a splash of juice as too much will throw the drink out of balance.

Homemade Vanilla Liqueur

It's pretty easy to make a vanilla liqueur, even if it's your first attempt at any homemade liqueur. Essentially, you'll use a vanilla syrup to sweeten the liquor of your choice. It's a relatively quick process and can be adapted to suit your taste.

To make the liqueur, begin by making vanilla syrup. Dissolve 2 cups of sugar into 1 cup of boiling water. Add a whole vanilla bean (split lengthwise) and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it steep for about 8 hours before removing the bean. Alternatively, you can add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the syrup, eliminating the long steeping time.

With the syrup ready, choose your liquor; brandy and vodka are great choices. For a full 750ml bottle of liquor, begin by adding 1/4 cup of vanilla syrup and mix it. Taste the liqueur and add more syrup (a little at a time) until it reaches your desired flavor. Bottle and store just like any other liqueur.

How Strong Is a Vanilla Martini?

The average vanilla liqueur is bottled around 60 proof, so that's a good strength to use when estimating the drink's alcohol content. When mixed with an 80-proof vodka, the martini should fall into the 29 percent ABV (58 proof) range. That's perfectly normal for liquor-only martinis. Just because they're sweet and pretty, doesn't mean they're light drinks.