The nutty martini is a sweet and delicious dessert martini. It is very simple and requires just three common ingredients. Sometimes simply called the Frangelico martini, the recipe is also very popular, making an appearance on nearly every well-rounded bar menu. With that prestige, you can rest assured that it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for any occasion.
The "nutty" aspect in this vodka martini comes from Frangelico, a hazelnut-flavored liqueur that also has hints of coffee, cocoa, and vanilla. Since vodka and simple syrup are the only other ingredients—and both are virtually flavorless—the Frangelico gets to shine in all its glory. The nutty martini really is one of the best cocktails to show off the sweet liqueur that comes in the unmistakable monk-shaped bottle.
2 ounces vodka
3/4 ounce Frangelico, hazelnut liqueur
1 teaspoon simple syrup
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the vodka, hazelnut liqueur, and simple syrup.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Serve and enjoy.
Choose Your Vodka
As with most vodka martinis, the vodka you choose is going to have a big impact on the taste of your nutty martini. Even though Frangelico has a heavier flavor, it will not cover up a vodka's impurities. Your best bet is to save the cheaper vodkas for drinks like the white Russian and pour the good stuff into this cocktail.
The great news is that even top-shelf vodka remains relatively affordable and there are many fantastic brands to explore. Consider popular brands like Chopin or Ketel One for reliable, easy-to-find options that will make nearly any martini you want to mix up taste great.
You can also use this recipe to test out American-made craft vodkas like the potato-based Blue Ice, Zodiac, or Cold River, or Washington's Dry Fly wheat. Each vodka will give the drink its own unique twist and leave you rethinking the spirit's "flavorless" reputation.
How Strong Is a Nutty Martini?
The majority of martinis are very strong drinks, a fact that their fancy presentation often hides. This recipe is no exception and you can expect your nutty martini's alcohol content to fall somewhere around 29 percent ABV (58 proof).
For an authentic nutty martini, Frangelico is the brand of choice. It is one of the essential spirits for a well-stocked bar and is arguably the best hazelnut liqueur available. However, it's not your only option and a bottle can be a little pricey.
- There are some budget-friendly options, including Hiram Walker and DeKuyper, both of which are relatively easy to find and at least half the price. If you look hard enough, you can also find interesting bottles from Bartenura, Davinia, Francesca, and Kahlua. The price ranges of these vary and any unknown bottle is definitely worth picking up to see if you enjoy it.
- If you like to experiment, you can also make your own liqueur. It's not much different from the walnut-based nocino recipe, you'll simply use raw hazelnuts and add extra flavors as you see fit. To replicate the taste of Frangelico, adding coffee, vanilla bean, and cocoa nibs to the infusion would be a good place to begin. You can also play with the base spirits; a combination of vodka and brandy form a solid foundation for the nutty flavor.