Hidden at the heart of the rather unassuming Mélia White House Hotel, London’s Dry Martini Bar is a cocktail bar like no other and a must visit for Bond-wannabes and true martini lovers alike.
The first of its name in the UK, this unique bar pulls together the sophistication of the marble-clad hotel and the traditions and heritage the Dry Martini Bar trademark is built upon.
The Meliá White House was built in 1936 and was originally launched as The White House luxury apartments. The hotel’s building still preserves its architectural value as a prime example of late 1930s architecture.
Mélia White House boasts an eclectic style, where contemporary design meets classic.
The area hosting London’s Dry Martini Bar, with its resolutely modern Spanish surrealist art selection, art deco stylings and blues and rock soundtrack, illustrates this perfectly.
But the true gem in the room is the bar itself.
Inspired by the glamourous 1920s, with its leather chairs and polished brass details, it’s a jewel in its own right.
And a really well stocked one at that!
Dozens of whiskies, about as many rum varieties…
And enough bottles of gin & vodka to make any martini lover’s head spin with the endless possibilities opening to them…
The perfect spot for the ultimate Martini-mixing lesson*!
Under the watchful eye of bar manager and expert mixologist Diego Cruz, we take turn behind the bar to stir the perfect classic Martini.
Which is much more work that the simple-looking cocktail might let you think.
First, fill a cocktail mixing glass with ice. Use a bar spoon to swirl it around a few times to cool it down.
Remove the excess water.
Pour in a double measure of your poison of choice (this would be mine, in case you were wondering)…
Add a few drops of sweet vermouth and stir carefully with a bar spoon.
Make sure not to bang the ice to much as this would result in a more diluted Martini, miles away from the potent, botanical-heavy beast a proper dry martini is.
Strain through a Hawthorne strainer into a clean, chilled martini glass.
Up to the very last drop!
Twist some lemon peel over the glass to express oils, then rub around rim of glass.
Garnish with the lemon peel or an olive.
Actually, if you’re mixing one for me, make it two olives.
I like my Martini like I like my men: with a pinch of salt, slightly dirty and concerned about preserving the environment, if only to make sure there’ll always be enough ice to mix a proper Martini whenever one’s necessary.
Dry Martini Bar London, Meliá White House, Albany St, London NW1 3UP
*I was invited to attend a Martini masterclass at London’s Dry Martini Bar by HotJoint, London’s latest food website, aiming at bringing together the capital’s foodies to tell the stories of the city’s best eating and drinking venues. A little bird tells me they’re planning many more fun events of that kind in the new year, so make sure you subscribe to their newsletter to know what’s cooking!