It’s one of the most famous drinks in the world, synonymous with one of film and literature’s most infamous characters, James Bond. When he utters the immortal line, “shaken, not stirred”, there is no doubt as to which cocktail he is talking about – the classic martini. And when it comes to finding somewhere to enjoy his favourite tipple for yourself, there is only one place in London to go: Duke’s Bar at Dukes Hotel.
It was here that the author Ian Fleming came to drink dry martinis, served from an elegant martini trolley, and where he invented the Vesper martini, named after Bond’s love interest Vesper Lynd in Fleming’s first novel, Casino Royale. And while the hotel’s doors may remain closed for the time being, that doesn’t mean you can’t recreate some of its cocktail magic in your own home. Here, ahead of National Martini Day, Dukes’ longtime bar manager Alessandro Palazzi shares his tried and tested recipes for making the perfect martini.