After Friday’s lunch at Berry Bros & Rudd, Douglas Blyde persuaded Katherine Houston and I that we needed a vodka martini at Dukes. He was right. This was the best vodka martini possible, prepared by Alessandro Palazzi with his famous trolley service. Dukes, a grand old hotel in Mayfair, is described as the spiritual home of the martini. [Apparently, you are only allowed two of them.]
Alessandro’s martini’s are very simple. Everything – the glass, the vodka, the vermouth – is kept in a freezer, to avoid the need for ice and the resulting dilution. He takes the glass and pours in a little vermouth. This is then swirled around, and dumped on the carpet (yes). He adds the vodka, in this case the fab Konik’s Tail. Then he takes rind of an amalfi lemon and twists it to release some oils, and then places it into the glass. That’s it.
The resulting drink is remarkable. It also contains a lot of vodka. You sip it slowly. Next time I go I will have the gin martini, made with No. 3.