Celebrating World Martini Day

19 June, 2020 by Andy Young

The Martini – It’s a James Bond favourite, a synonym for sophistication and a classic cocktail amongst consumer and trade audiences alike, writes Bars and Clubs‘ Brydie Allen. 

World Martini Day is this Friday, June 19, and so in it’s honour, I decided to dive into the drink (not literally, though I wish I could). Because while in theory it should be a simple cocktail of just a few ingredients, the Martini has many recipes, many twists and many techniques that give it versatility to become so much more.

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It’s for these reasons that there is no one ‘perfect’ way to make a Martini.

Earlier this yearBars and Clubs spoke to one of the world’s most famous Martini makers, Ago Perrone of The Connaught Bar in London, who said: “there is no absolutely perfect Martini.”

Instead, there is the ultimate Martini for the person who is to consume it. As Perrone described: “Each and every Martini is only perfect according to our guests’ preferences: from the spirit base, to the aromatic bitter and the garnish.”

It’s a sentiment that rings true for bar professionals on our shores too. That versatility that lets the spirit shine and be enjoyed is what makes it a popular choice at Australian venues, including Melbourne’s Black Pearl, according to their General Manager Matt Linklater.

“I love how it is infinitely customisable. Gin, vodka, dry, wet, dirty, filthy, Gibson, Astoria, bitters, naked, shaken, stirred? It’s not just a martini, it’s your martini,” Linklater explained.

These reasons make it a favourite at Sydney’s Gin Lane too, where Founder and Head Mixologist Grant Collins said it suits every occasion.

Collins said that the Martini is: “Simply the best way to savour many of our 200+ Gins. If guests select a vintage or boutique Gin we often recommend it’s best to be sampled in a classic Martini.

“The simplicity of the drink showcases gin’s botanicals, with only the addition of dilution and vermouth rather than tonic, sugar, soda or juice. The flexibility of the drink also makes it a favourite at Gin Lane. It’s the perfect pre/post dinner or celebratory drink if made correctly.”

Despite the Martini’s ability to suit a range of consumers, there still remain tricks and tips to do it the best way possible. As with any recipe, it’s never as simple as throwing the ingredients in the glass and hoping for the best. But the nature of the Martini means that the smallest considerations can have an impact on the final product and it’s general enjoyment.

This is something that was pointed out by Michael Nicolian, General Manager of Sydney’s Continental Deli Bar and Bistro, who said it all starts at the base.

“The Martini is the king of cocktails. Full stop. It’s simplicity leaves no room for the ingredients to hide, so provided the gin and vermouth are good, you’re in for a great time,” Nicolian said.

“There are lots of tips and tricks, essentially if the booze is good and it’s as cold as possible before freezing that’s really what you want to achieve, so quality of ingredients, the amount of dilution and the temp [are key].”

At the ALIA Bar of the Year 2019, Maybe Sammy, getting the perfect balance in all these areas is of the utmost importance in creating the ideal Martini experience that people think of when they order.

Director Stefano Catino told Bars and Clubs: “When you think about cocktails or draw a cocktail on a piece of paper, the V shape of the classic Martini is the one that comes to mind. Movie stars, hollywood glamour and James Bond – they all have a Martini in their hand.”

“We believe [creating the ultimate Martini] has a lot to do with a quality spirit and most of all the correct vermouth or blend of vermouth according to the base spirit.”

For more from Linklater, Collins and Nicolian on the Martini sweet spot, head to Bars and Clubs.

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