The Icewine Martini is a perfect combination of Vodka and Icewine. In years past, Icewine has been enjoyed on its own.  This year however, I want to pump up the Icewine with some vodka.  Commonly referred to as an “Icewine Martini”, this cocktail is both sweet and strong.

The Icewine Martini

I was enrolled in a bartending course in downtown Toronto many years ago. My instructor taught me that the most important ingredient in a cocktail is not the liquor, it’s the “cold.”  A successful Icewine martini must be cold, cold, cold!  This cold begins with chilling the glassware that will contain the cocktail.  While chilling glasses in the freezer may be convenient, I recommend against this.  Flavours from your freezer are going to find their way into your glass.  To chill a glass properly, fill it with crushed ice. You want to float the ice by filling the glass with cold water.  The water is necessary to ensure the entire inner surface of the glass is in contact with the cold.

The Recipe

Once you’ve got your martini glasses chilling, combine 1 ½ ounces of Niagara Icewine (white or red) with an equal part of vodka in a tin cocktail shaker.  Add a scoop of ice cubes to the tin and then shake vigorously until the outside of the tin feels cold in your hands.  Dump the ice-water out of your martini glass and strain the cocktail into the glass.  Garnish with frozen grapes.

The Garnish

To make your garnish of frozen grapes simply buy a cluster of grapes and skewer three fresh grapes with a cocktail pick. Then, store in a closed container in the freezer.  Your frozen grape skewers will be ready to go come cocktail time!


This cocktail is a great way to enjoy Icewine while cutting down on its sweetness.  The vodka cuts down on the sweetness in the Icewine, and the Icewine cuts down on the alcohol flavour found in vodka.  The two balance each other out and the result is a fruity cocktail that is as sweet as it is strong.


By: Michael Twyman
Sommelier and Wine Smart Guide