Ever since it was first created in the 1880s, the Martini has become a legend in liquid. From The Connaught Bar with its famous Martini trolley to Duke’s Bar, which is said to have inspired the classic line “Shaken, but not stirred”, we round up five of the best luxury places in London to sip 007’s beloved elixir
The Connaught Bar
The Connaught Bar has pushed the ceremonial elements of the Martini experience one step further with its own rather fabulous Martini trolley. Only the purest martinis are made, with premium gin and vodka brands, while the vermouth is the crispy Gancia Dry from Italy, only available at the Connaught Bar. And should you be wondering, Connaught Martinis are only quietly stirred, never shaken.
Referred to by the New York Times as “The hotel bar which some say concocts one of the world’s best Martinis”, the legendary Duke’s bar was frequented by James Bond author Ian Fleming and is said to have inspired the immortal line, “shaken, not stirred”. Try the Fleming 89, a new Martini which celebrates the bar’s famous link with the king of fiction, and is created in partnership with Floris, whose “89” Eau de Cologne was worn by James Bond.
The Artesian, at The Langham
“Sexy to look at and absolutely beautiful to taste” is how The Cocktail Lovers summed up the Langham Martini at the Artesian, voted the World’s Best Bar. Made from frozen Tanqueray No. TEN, it is poured over crystal clear ice and stirred with a choice of five dry vermouths inspired by the five cities, Tokyo, New York, Paris, Milan and London. Each Langham Martini is perfumed with aromatic citrus oils and served with a side of Nocellara Del Belice DOC olives macerated with Tanqueray No. TEN botanicals. Exquisite.
American Bar at the Savoy
While the original Martini was first noted by Harry Johnson in 1888, it was New York’s best bartender, Harry Craddock, who helped make the Martini what it is today. When Craddock became Head Bartender at the Savoy‘s American Bar in London, his new American style of bartending drew huge crowds and today Craddock is best remembered for his masterwork, The Savoy Cocktail Book. Sip a Martini in the American Bar at the Savoy and raise a glass to Harry.
Upstairs at Rules
One of the best-kept secrets in London, this cosy reinvented cocktail bar above London’s oldest restaurant, where Edward VII once entertained his mistress, Lillie Langtry, is the perfect backdrop for one of Rules’s perfectly executed dry Martinis. Perch yourself up at the bar and let the cocktails commence.