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November 29, 2022 – This years’ martini revival is still going strong. Named Drink of the Year by Food & Wine, there’s plenty of ways to concoct a custom martini that incorporates recent beverage trends including culinary tie-ins, savory additions, and salinity – especially with the crisp, dry and bright flavors presented by Finlandia Vodka, the Finnish vodka made from Suomi barley and the purest water sources in Finland.

On October 13 of this year, PUNCH Media reps took a trip to the East Village to explore these riffs and co-host a luxe Martini Masterclass for media and influencers, courtesy of and in collaboration with Brown-Forman Mixologist Fitz Bailey and Finlandia Vodka. The evening was filled with martinis of many kinds, including classic, briny, lychee, passionfruit (also known by a more lascivious name) and more – even Olive Oil-Washed Tiny Tinis, miniature sippers fashioned with Bellemille Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a new high-end olive oil founded by the U.S. expat-turned-Italy-based Alexa Dombkoski.

Upon entry, media attendees from the likes of, Forbes, VinePair, Travel + Leisure, Eater, Thrillist and more were greeted with mini lychee and passionfruit martinis whipped up by the expert staff at Analogue, the chic, old-school, vintage-and-vinyl themed whiskey lounge nestled in the heart of historic East Village. Guests lounged on leather-upholstered sofas and sank into plush armchairs while sampling the swathe of charcuterie and hors d’oeuvres provided by Analogue and sipping their welcome martini of choice. Once all guests had been accounted for, PUNCH Media Director of Strategy Kylie Flett welcomed everyone into the space and kicked it over to Fitz Bailey to lead the Martini Masterclass.

Each media attendee had their own martini-making station complete with jigger, shaker, ice, stirring spoon, and of course the ingredients: Finlandia Vodka, vermouth, olive brine, Bellemille Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and choose-your-own-garnish selections. Fitz provided background information on the martini, and highlighted how the premium nature of Finlandia Vodka elevates what could otherwise be a “standard” libation.

With Fitz’s mixology instruction, guests stirred up their own martinis, adjusting levels of vermouth, brine, and oil to their liking, while Analogue staff brought around passed apps and caviar bumps. Alexa Dombkoski also demonstrated her product Bellemille Extra Virgin Olive Oil, explaining how it is produced and how an olive oil-washed martini can be elevated with Finlandia Vodka and Bellemille.

After a group cheers, guests were thanked for coming and encouraged to stay until the event’s end time of 7 pm to finish their remaining beverages. Photographer Averie Cole snapped shots of attendees chatting, cheers-ing and imbibing throughout the night.

-Kira Cappello

Photo By @AverieCole

Photo By @AverieCole