Apart from his good looks, spy moves and international reputation, James Bond is probably best known for his infamous cocktail request: a Vesper Gin Martini.
And of course, ‘shaken, not stirred’. With the release of the latest Bond film, ‘No Time To Die’ and Daniel Craig’s last role as 007, we thought there would be no better time to test the best gins to make the ultimate martini.
Sipsmith London Dry Gin
Sipsmith define their brand as a London based gin, bringing gin back to the place where it earned its name. So what better gin to use for our London-based favourite spy’s favourite cocktail? Sipsmith Dry Gin is a classic gin for a classic cocktail, and smooth enough for a martini. The floral, summery, zesty notes are a refreshing start to a martini, and the dry juniper taste adds the classic gin flavour. Sipsmith is a dry gin, as a proper martini should be, so we think 007 would approve.
Eight Lands, Organic Speyside Gin
Eight Lands is a wonderful organic, vegan and gluten free option for gin. Eight Lands’ spirits are produced with Scottish spring water, which we felt was even more appropriate for Fleming’s half Scottish protagonist. We highly recommend you use both the Eight Lands Gin and Vodka for this martini, from their award winning distillery in Scotland. Their gin is smooth till the last drop, with intense juniper, red berry and citrus flavours. This is definitely one of our favourites.
Aviation American Gin
Next, we headed across the pond for Ryan Reynold’s popular Aviation American Gin. Although we are often sceptical of celebrity endorsed spirits, this gin was a welcome surprise. With strong spice notes of cinnamon and cardamom and hints of citrus, this gin finishes on a lovely floral and earth spice note. They highly recommend you freeze the gin to make the best martini, and although 007 may not approve, add a twist of lemon peel. No ice is needed for this fantastic American version, and the spiciness will make you fall in love with a martini all over again.
Portofino Dry Gin
Made at an antique Italian Distillery, Portofino Dry Gin is our unexpected star when making a classic martini. The brand has a wonderful balance of modernity and tradition, fitting to the preferred cocktail of a movie icon. Notes of fresh lemon transport you straight to Portofino, and the rosemary and lavender hints at Mediterranean flavours. Transport yourself to warm, summer days at the Italian coast, this classic 007 martini is enhanced by this Mediterranean touch.
One of our highly recommended restaurants for Cantonese fare is MOTT 32. With global outposts in Las Vegas, Vancouver, Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai, Cebu and Seoul, we sampled their tasting menu at their original restaurant in Hong Kong, and it did not disappoint.
"Our cuisine is all about making the best use of seasonal ingredients. Because of this, we always strive to find the best ingredients according to the time of year,” explains Daisuke Hayashi, chef and owner of the first Kaiseki restaurant in London, Roketsu.
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