Let me introduce one of my favorite food writers, J. Kenji López-Alt. He's an editor for the food blog Serious Eats, and writes a terrific column called The Food Lab. In The Food Lab, he picks apart what makes a recipe tick, and makes it better than ever. When it comes to pie crust, he has more experience than most. Even though Cook's Illustrated head honcho Christopher Kimball takes all the credit, J. Kenji López-Alt developed the famous pie crust recipe. Who better to take the recipe to the next level?
The vodka trick was only part of the recipe. The big secret is to thoroughly mix just part of the flour with the fat when you start. Those flour particles get completely coated in fat, and can't develop gluten. When you add the rest of the flour, just the right amount of gluten develops, giving you flawless pie crust every time. Now, you can save your vodka for a delicious White Russian.
There is a little more to great pie crust. First, weigh your flour; flour's volume can change based on many things. Second, make sure everything stays cold. Water should be ice cold, and toss the flour in the freezer before you start. If it feels like things are warming up, slide everything in the fridge for 15 or 20 minutes to chill back down. You can make this recipe with a pastry cutter or your fingers, but a food processor makes it about a zillion times easier.