A Drink with Robert De Niro

We talk to the Academy Award-winning actor and restaurateur about his favorite cocktail and new vodka.

You own restaurants and now have a new vodka. Any parallels between entertainment and hospitality?
Yeah, sure. I mean people, no matter what, enjoy entertainment. For someone, that might mean seeing a great film. For another person, it might mean enjoying a great meal and a cocktail.

How did you come to be involved with New Zealand’s VDKA 6100?
A friend approached me a few years ago about an idea he had for a new spirit. I was intrigued, and I decided to meet with the team to discuss their ideas. Anything I choose to be involved in has to have a special quality to it, and they asked me to taste a few different vodkas, and I really gravitated toward this one.

Why vodka?
It wasn’t something I was actively searching for. But the opportunity presented itself, and it was a project I wanted to take part in.

What’s your day-to-day role with it?

I’ve been involved from the beginning. There are a lot of celebrity-backed products out there, but I pride myself in being involved in all areas, from development to our cocktail recipes. I didn’t just want to show up and be paid.

So, if I worked for VDKA, I could call you my colleague?
If I become involved, I like to be an active participant. It’s true about my film projects, and true about my business ventures.

What’s your favorite cocktail?
A classic Martini with a lemon twist (see below).

The De Niro Martini
Combine 4 ounces of vodka, 1 ounce of dry vermouth and ice in a cocktail shaker. Stir. Strain into a martini glass, then repour into the shaker and strain again into the glass. Top with a lemon twist.

Learning to Speak Vodka

Published on January 21, 2015
Topics: Celebrities, Interviews, Vodka
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She's the author of Shake.Stir.Sip.: 40 Effortless Cocktails Made In Equal Parts (Chronicle Books, 2016) as well as ROAD SODA: Recipes and techniques for making great cocktails, anywhere (Dovetail Press, 2017). Email: spirits@wineenthusiast.net



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