In 1964, James Bond’s Goldfinger gave birth to one of the most iconic one-liners: “A medium dry martini, lemon peel. Shaken, not stirred.” Be it thanks to the suave sensibilities of the fictional character or, as admitted over drinks earlier this week, the subtle sense of “chic” it lends, the martini is a classic. Done correctly and it is a refreshing evening tipple. Otherwise, you’re looking at a nasty hangover after a night of dancing in Spain (confirmed by a reliable source).
Last month at The Cut in Sydney’s historic suburb of The Rocks, the celebrated bar and grill revived its cocktail and bar menu to channel vintage glamour. The new bar experience includes a table-side martini service that enables guests to design their own rendition of this classic drink.
By day, The Cut continues to be a power-broking business lunch destination and a ‘must-do’ for tourists who are drawn through the heritage façade for its outstanding, Australian beef credentials. By night, it is easier to slip into an underground, speakeasy vibe with martinis served table-side, bourbon and rye-based cocktails aging gracefully in barrels and a splash of bubbles, fizz, and fun cocktails for easy pre or post dinner drinking. The new bar experience includes a table-side martini service that enables guests to design their own rendition of this classic drink.
“There is no right or wrong way to drink a martini; it comes down to personal preference, which is why The Cut’s table-side service that enables guests to tweak their ‘tini according to their own taste is proving to be popular enhancement,” says Rockpool Dining Group Beverage Director Ali Toghani.
“At The Cut, we like our martinis stirred as this allows the spirit molecules to neatly lie on one another without diluting the premium spirits, however we still make a killer shaken martini for our James Bond fans, too.”
However, if you’re unable to make it to The Cut, here is how you can experiment elsewhere with tips direct from Toghani.
The perfect Glass
This cocktail is practically a glass of cold booze so ensure the glass is chilled. An arctic cold glass enhances the deliciously crisp quality which is the real attraction of this killer cocktail.
Gin vs vodka
Changing either ingredient in this drink alters its character radically:
- Opting for gin will offer crisper botanical notes that are heightened by the herbaceous qualities of vermouth.
- Vodka produces a deliberately smooth and silkier mouthfeel with a soft texture.
Wet or dry
The wetness or dryness of a martini dictates the quantity of vermouth in the cocktail:
- The drier the martini, the less vermouth and therefore a showcase of the personality of the spirit.
- A wet martini offers a subtle aromatic umami note which complements the underlying aromas of the gin or vodka.
Twist vs olive
Classic garnishes are green olives (served on a skewer) or a twist of lemon peel:
- The dry aromatics of lemon peel enhance the bite of the spirit.
- Olive adds a briny quality and draws out additional flavour from the base spirit. Adding a touch of olive brine creates a much saltier but slightly spicy and earthy note in the cocktail. This is named a dirty martini.
Shaken or Stirred
- Shaking involves combining the vermouth and spirit into a shaker with ice and smashing the liquor together over and over, creating a more aerated and livelier martini.
- Stirring for thirty seconds binds ingredients of the cocktail together and keeps the density without diluting the tasting notes of either spirit.
For more information on The Cut, visit here.