The Enduring Appeal Of The Martini
Shaken, stirred, or extra dirty. The martini has long been a cinematic staple for the effortlessly cool, sexy and/or dangerous icons of the silver screen, and with good reason! What’s not to entice about a thin layer of frost coating that iconic conical glass shape, a briney drop of an olive or a gentle twist of lemon, and that translucent liquid that looks innocent enough (but looks can be deceiving, no)? It’s clean, it’s simple, it can set the mood for whatever your intention for the evening/afternoon might be. Class in a glass.
These last few years have seen the martini take a back seat to bright colours and combos, spritzes and sours. We’ve tested the waters in every ocean of flavour and texture, but there’s something about the classics that makes them just so, and in the last few months we can’t help but notice a strong return to those cult classics, and we absolutely can’t help but be thrilled that across Australia, the martini is being served up to exacting standards that we bet James Bond himself would give an appreciative nod to. Here’s our pick of five of best martini’s across Australia:
Tucked beneath Ovolo South Yarra is basement speakeasy Backroom Bar, one of Melbourne’s best cocktail bars. It may be open only three night’s a week, but their Martini Moment from 5-6 pm on each of those three days delivers the best classic, French and espresso martinis that you’ll find in South of the river (and for only $17). Made to perfection with recipes curated by Bar master Andrea Gualdi, these are Melbourne martinis that set the tone for your evening, wherever you’re heading, whatever the occasion.
Longlisted in the world’s 50 best bar awards, this cocktail bar housed in a literal bluestone caretaker’s cottage is not to be messed with. Their martinis are some of the best in Melbourne—super cold, made with good gin, a dry vermouth, and whatever garnish your heart desires. The kicker is in the detail that the Caretakers team takes to create their martini: Water is added to their gin and vermouth blend to account for the dilution that you usually get when the drink is stirred down. It’s stored in an insulated flask at a cool -15C and -18C, and poured directly from the big freeze as you order it.
With loud music, an almost sci-fi-like interior, and Sydney’s coolest bartenders pouring them out to exacting standards, other-worldly Bar Planet isn’t the type of place you’d expect to find one of Sydney’s best cocktails, but it is. The bar’s house Martini is poured from large Spanish decanters, which are chilled in a freezer and theatrically poured into a glass. Come for the drink, stay for the party. Consider the patrons of this quirky Sydney cocktail bar, the next generation of Martini drinkers.
If you’re new to the martini game, the Inchcolm Bar’s three martini lunch in Brisbane is the perfect place to begin your education. The house classic, the high-tea-style ‘Cucumber Rose’ and the ‘Spring Hill’ are all included, and each is made with Grey Goose Vodka or Sipsmith London gin. Why do you need three martinis? What else are you going to pair with your choice of absolute baller lunch items? Be it a steak frites, Moreton bay bug spaghetti, or market catch of the day in brown butter sauce, the Inchcolm Bar’s three martini lunch in Brisbane is where you go when you’re long lunching like the good old days. Settle in and enjoy the ride.
Despite being one of Sydney’s newest cocktail bars, Le Foote’s mini martinis are making big waves across the style set. Grab a seat across one of Le Foote’s many levels and order your drink in a glass filled for just two sips. Two sips? It might sound like a joke, but for a quick bar drop-in, or for a pre/post dinner relaxant, it might just be the new way you want to drink. Bigger isn’t always better, right?