By Olivia Cuccaro
Dukes London Martini
- 5 ml Dukes secret dry vermouth
- 100 ml No. 3 Gin
- Organic lemon
To create our cocktail of the week, first freeze a martini glass and a bottle of No. 3 Gin. Drop 5 ml of Dukes secret dry vermouth into the frozen glass and top with frozen No.3 Gin. Finish off with large zest of organic lemon, squeezing the lemon zest to extract the fragrant oils and place inside the glass.
We’ll take this week’s cocktail shaken, not stirred. At Dukes Bar, this classic line is more than just a tired martini trope. Ian Fleming, author of the legendary James Bond series, was a frequent patron of Dukes Bar and it is believed that Mr. Bond’s iconic drink order was inspired by this very location. Renowned for crafting some of the best martinis in the world, Dukes Bar offers an opulent yet intimate atmosphere that will have you feeling your most “007.”
“The execution, ambiance and choice of ingredients we use at Dukes Bar are very important,” said Alessandro Palazzi, head bartender, in speaking to Elite Traveler. “The very first rule for the perfect martini is to have the right temperature; we simply execute this rule by freezing both the glass and spirit to get the optimal taste. All martinis are prepared on a tableside trolley allowing our guests to experience the process of the martini preparation at the comfort of their own table. To finish it off, we only work with the best ingredients; for instance we only use lemons from Amalfi Coast because they have a beautiful aroma. As the martini becomes warmer the taste will continue to evolve and the scent of the Amalfi will only enhance the experience.”
If you can’t be an international spy, you can at least master the martini like one: Palazzi will impart his knowledge of cocktails during a two-hour class at Dukes Bar. Taste vodkas from Russia and Poland while learning about the essential Brazilian tonka beans, Sicilian olives and, of course, lemons from the Amalfi coast. Classes begin at approximately $122 per person for groups of 4-8.
End your evening at Dukes’ cognac and cigar garden before retiring to the Duke of Clarence Penthouse Suite. On the fifth floor, the 700 sq ft suite features a private terrace on which you can enjoy a full English breakfast in the morning. The suite also includes a living room, dining area, large bedroom with king-size bed and marble en suite bathroom, writing desk, fine porcelain and China collections from Thomas Goode Mayfair.
Dukes London is located at 35 St James Place, London SW1A 1NY. For more information, please visit dukeshotel.com.