Taking place at the new Byblos Restaurant in the Story’s Building, I was one of a small group who got the opportunity to learn about the myriads of possibilities when customizing your Belvedere Vodka martini.

With the help of Belvedere’s Global Ambassador, Ali Dedianko, we learned that there’s much more beyond the choice of “shaken or stirred”. In fact, this was just our first of 4 steps.
So a classic martini at first glance appears to be a simple drink compromised of only a handful of ingredients: vodka (or gin), vermouth and a garnish.


We were led on a “choose your own adventure” or “Know Your Martini” adventure as we sampled varieties in the type of Vermouth (Lillet Blanc or Dolin Dry) in our second step. Both were great for different occasions but I preferred Lillet Blanc.

In our 3rd step we chose the ratio of vodka to vermouth: either 3:1 or 6:1. For me it was a close one but I preferred 6:1.

Then in the final step we chose the garnish: Lemon Twist or Olive. Again, both were great for different occasions so it was hard to narrow it down to just one winner.

And variety is the spice of life, anyway. I wouldn’t want to always drink the same martini all the time. It depends on the occasion.

Just like with beer: sometimes I prefer a lager for a hot summer day and other times I prefer an amber or dark beer.

So that was supposed to be just a simple and refined Belvedere Vodka martini tasting called but instead what it turned out to be was an quite an epic Eastern Mediterranean dinner at Byblos Restaurant hosted by Belvedere Vodka.

It was a 4 course meal technically but because of the shareable portion sizes at Byblos, it was definitely much more than that with Byblos bringing out an incredible array of flavours – a much more in-depth experience than the Byblos grand opening teaser I attended.

Memorable dishes included Lamb Ribs Dukkah with buttermilk sauce, carob molasses, and red chili schug.

Lamb Ribs Dukkah with buttermilk sauce, carob molasses, and red chili schug

Lamb Ribs Dukkah with buttermilk sauce, carob molasses, and red chili schug

A great night and thank you Belvedere Vodka for the martini education and an impeccably top-notch evening.

Photos by Nick Lee

Here’s a video showing how to make the perfect martini featuring Belvedere Global Ambassador, Ali Dedianko.

Also check out my friend Brock McLaughlin’s post about the Belvedere vodka experience.

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Editor and Photos at BestOfToronto.net