Many of us might be familiar with legendary London martini haunts such as DUKES bar in St James's or The Savoy's glamorous Beaufort Bar. But now, thanks to drinks company Sipsmiths, the martini has become THE cocktail to enjoy. And where London leads everywhere follows, especially when it comes to which drinks.
Co-founded by Sam Galsworthy and Fairfax Hall, Sipsmiths are micro-distillers who make great gin. They’ve just celebrated their 5th Birthday, and to celebrate, they worked alongside Martini Historian Jared Brown to create a menu of one hundred different versions of the classic cocktail. Head to The Apartment at Kettner's in Soho, go through a secret entrance, and you will find yourself in the Sipsmith 100 Martini Bar; all dark wood panelling, Billie Holiday playing from a gramophone and flickering candles.
Sit down and the waiter will hand you an iPad which you use as an interactive menu, scrolling through the options and then using the same iPad to order your preferred choice. A little time later a dapper bartender arrives at your table with an antique martini trolley stacked with fantastic ingredients. He then shakes or, for in James Bond style, stirs your chosen beverage in front of you, before taking his leave, allowing you to sip away in this timeless lounge.
Sipsmith 100 Martini Bar will take place Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings until 12 April 2014. Tickets can be bought here but hurry as they are selling fast! £12 buys you a 90 minute session and one martini. (Additional drinks can be bought for an additional £11)
OUR FAVOURITE FIVE MARTINIS
1. SIPSMITH SUMMERCUP SPRITZER (ABOVE)
If hard liquor isn't your thing then give this a try. Launching this summer, Sipsmith Summer cup has a new serve....just add ice, soda water and a wedge of lemon for a refreshing summer cocktail.
2. THE 10 MINUTE MARTINI
Using Sipsmith London Dry Gin and Sweet Vermouth this cocktail is dripped slowly over ice to make sure the hard liquor has time to slowly mingle. Served with an olive.
3. THE BLACKTHORNE
This colourful treat adds Sipsmith Sloe Gin and Orange Bitters to the blend which gives a deliciously fruity drink.
4. MILLIONAIRE MARTINI
Sipsmiths London Dry Gin, Dry Vermouth and Champagne makes this choice bubble-tastic.
5. OH MY DARLING.. CLEMENTINE
Sipsmith London Dry Gin, Clementine, Elderflower Cordial and Lemon Juice make for a perfectly tangy tipple.
6. THE ARNAUD
Originally called the Parisian, from the 1920s contains Sipsmith VJOP (Very Juniper Over Proof) dry vermouth, crème de cassis. This is Master Distiller Jared Brown's favourite from the list. Shaken and garnished with a lemon twist.