Many bar concepts of recent years have been worked to death, worked more and more and then some, until the poor dead nag being subjected to the flogging can only be identified by its dental records. At least on the plus side there’s nothing left of the beast to find its way into a frozen lasagne.
I’m guessing many readers would immediately think along the lines of “speakeasy” style arrangements, where it’s too dark to see your bloody cocktail let alone consume it – or you’ve forgotten the password to even enter the damn building in the first place. Many of these themed establishments seem to get caught up and lost in their own unoriginal, quirky-cum-tenuous non-brilliance. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to centre something around a time-tested, crowd pleasing classic that stands the test of discerning drinking generations.
When being invited to sample Dry Martini I was curious. What? No password? No hidden door or cryptic instructions to tap on bricks like a madman on day release looking for the entrance to Diagon Alley? There’s no way this could be cool or socially acceptable.
The bar itself is a large space indeed; the most important aspect, the bar itself taking centre stage. Generously adorned with fine consumable wares from across the globe and operating under the friendly, expert eye of Diego who had flown in from Madrid to ensure the service was a smooth as a brilliantly crafted martini. The ethos of the bar allows one to think for oneself, unlike many aforementioned examples, so I’d be intrigued to hear readers’ opinions. My impressions? A New York or Chicago cigar lounge with a playful, contemporary interior but not at all garish or over the top – remember, classic cocktails are a serious business.
Of course, being named Dry Martini, gin is the most dominant player in this field. A wide, carefully chosen selection waits patiently upon its shelf awaiting your custom and be stirred into life. The prices are very agreeable also, considering martinis are, as a general rule of thumb, the priciest libations on the menu card. The mixologists really do know what they’re talking about. Ask their advice; get the cocktail you deserve and press the button to increase the tally on the wall (you’ll know what I mean when you visit). That’s the only secret about this homage to the king of all cocktails I’ll leave with you to discover on your own. No password, promise.
Dry Martini by Javier de las Muelas at Melia White House Hotel Meliá White House Albany St London NW1 3UP