TNP: Can vodka epitomize a certain lifestyle? If so, what does your vodka, VDKA 6100, epitomize?
RD: Clean living. I think 6100 is really about discretion and a sophisticated lifestyle. It’s for the person who wants to be more discreet, not over the top. It was really about something that was more subdued. It was more elegant, it was more refined. I think that was the word we liked: refined.
TNP: How would relate your vodka to the world of restaurants?
RD: The one thing I always talk about in terms of restaurants is consistency. I think that’s what we love about the vodka, is that it’s consistent. It’s consistent in its pureness and that’s how I tie it to restaurants. When I think of a good restaurant, it’s where the food has been consistent; there’s always a consistency.
TNP: What does someone’s drink say about them?
RD: I don’t know, that’s a good question. That’s a good question and I don’t have the answer.
TNP: What’s your personal ideal drink?
RD: I have either a cucumber martini, gin martini, or a vodka martini. That’s it. Simple.
TNP: Do you think drinks can be like time capsules? Can they bring you to another period in your life?
RD: Yes, with certain vices, like a martini in the old days in New York. In the fifties or sixties, you had Café Society, The Stork Club, the Copacabana; you had Tavern on the Green. Today, unfortunately, Tavern doesn’t have what it should have as far as I can see, what I’d love to see it have. Or The Boathouse. They don’t have the elegance that I remember as a kid seeing in the movies. They had more history. It was just a different time; it was a different period back then. That’s all.
*Robert De Niro, photographed at Locanda Verde in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann. Illustration by Danielle Kosann.