St. Petersburg, Russia

Get the most out of your trip to St. Petersburg with this month's TASTEscape destination guide produced in partnership with Great British Chefs. Discover the traditional church canteens that are cooking up a treat, and where to get the best rooftop views of the city. Maybe it will inspire you to try our martini recipe?

Recipe: Oyster & Vodka Martini

A stunning, luxurious and decidedly different cocktail, where oyster shells lend a sublime minerality to the vermouth for the martini. Inspired by classic St. Petersburg flavours, this is a perfect partner for Russian caviar. Recipe courtesy of Great British Chef, Rich Woods.


Course: Cocktail 
Difficulty: Medium 
Time: 20 minutes plus 24hrs infusing


Oyster shell vermouth

  • 6 oyster shells 
  • 250ml of dry vermouth

Samphire bitters

  • 25g of samphire 
  • 100ml of vodka

St Petersburg Martini

  • 60ml of vodka, preferably Beluga 
  • caviar 


  1. To begin, make the oyster shell vermouth. Wash and clean 6 oyster shells and wrap in a tea towel. Smash with a meat mallet or rolling pin to break up the shells and place in a sealable, non-reactive container. Cover with the vermouth 
  2. Leave to infuse for 24 hours, pass through a sieve then strain the liquid through a coffee filter to remove any small pieces of shell 
  3. Wash and chop the samphire into small pieces. Place in a zip-lock bag, cover with the vodka and squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag. Seal and leave to infuse for 24 hours in a cool, dark place 
  4. Pass through a coffee filter and set aside until ready to make the cocktail 
  5. To assemble the martini, place the Beluga vodka, 15ml of oyster shell vermouth and 1 tsp of the samphire bitters in a cocktail shaker. Add ice cubes, stir until ice-cold and strain into a martini glass. Serve with the caviar on the side


Recipe courtesy of