…from the driest to the coldest.
Like a good cuppa, perfect Martinis should be simple to achieve, but there’s a major difference between a good and a great one. Here’s BarChick’s round up of London’s finest.
Alex Kratena from Artesian bar at The Langham has gone to great lengths to keep his Martinis super cold. He has commissioned the creation of silver-plated, two-part Martini ‘glasses’ – BarChick has tested them and gives them two cold thumbs up. An added wow is the selection of city influenced vermouths that Alex has created; choose from New York (apples and cinnamon), Paris (lavender), London (elderflower) and Tokyo (yuzu).
If you like your Martini as dry as a ***’s ****, then head to the bar with no name at 69 Colebrooke Row. Tony C has been at it again in his lab and has created what some say is the world’s driest Martini; the trick is in the few drops of grape seed extract for extra astringency.
Rumor has it that Ian Fleming came up with James Bond’s ‘shaken, not stirred’ line in this bar, say no more. Dukes’ Martinis are served chilled straight from the freezer, no ice needed. Plus bar manager Alessandro Palazzi gets extra points for his charm, and for being one of the first to use Highgate’s Sacred Gin and vermouth in his.
THE SHOW OFF
The Connaught bar means cocktail perfection, and their black lacquered Martini trolley is something else. Wheeled out by one of their sexy Italian barmen, you can custom build your own and discuss the bitters or spirits that take your fancy. BarChick loves the liquorice, and with its theatrical glamour from start to delicious finish, neighbours will look on in envy.
The legendary American Bar at The Savoy may have been the first place to serve a Martini in London, and it’s still one of the best today (you’d kind of hope so with all that practice). It’s all in the details, and with slick head bartender Erik Lorincz, you’re in for a treat. He stirs his with chunks of block ice for maximum chill and minimum chips of ice, and also adds a hint of grapefruit bitters to the gin as a signature twist.
Rules is the oldest restaurant in London (at least it is for this story), and if you head upstairs to the bar you’ll find meticulously created cocktails made with modern ingredients and yesterday’s flair. It’s a bartender’s favourite, so pull up a stool, or sink into a quiet corner and get the Martinis in, enjoy with a lit fire in winter and a slab of stilton if you wish.