Ask The Rake: To All The Martinis I’ve Loved Before

For our Ask The Rake series, the question turns to one of the most iconic cocktails in popular culture: the Martini. Mike Hughes shares some of his favourite iterations.
Alessandro Palazzi, Dukes Hotel (Photo via Alamy)

Whilst there are no international martini laws, and no martini police enforcing strict codes of conduct, I can’t help but get more than a little irked by anything that gets served in a V-shaped glass being labelled a martini. I’m looking at you, Espresso, and don’t get me started on that ridiculous prosecco chaser Porn Star variant. You are henceforth renamed Vodka Espresso and Passionfruit Abomination respectively.

Rant aside, today I am exclusively focusing on your classic martini made with gin, vermouth and its array of garnishes. I’m not overly keen on a Vodka Martini, I’m sorry to say. But if you’re offering a Vesper Martini with its mix of vodka, gin and Lillet, then I won’t say no. Everyone loves being Bond, right?

Speaking of Vesper Martinis, I am giddily rubbing my hands awaiting the end of lockdown, because it means I get to venture back into Dukes’ bar and try my hand at ordering three martinis, knowing full well I’ll suffer the wrath of Mr. Alessandro Palazzi, who upholds the unwritten rule of “no more than two martinis per person”. I am sure this rule was founded on the basis that Alessandro has scraped many a rulebreaker off the floor in the past.


March 2021


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