There is nothing quite like a Martini at The Carlyle in New York. The drink itself is quite fabulous, but the pomp and circumstance (or lack thereof) is really what makes me go back from time to time and treat myself.
I am partial to the most classic Dry Martini with a twist (the olive is a distant second for me). You see unlike its rather bland bastard brother the Vodka (or Dirty) Martini, the Dry Martini allows you to try a vast range of variations thanks in no small part to the many variations of Gin. A Hendrick’s or a Plymouth will leave you with two very unique experiences within the same drink. The other two ingredients, Dry Vermouth and a lemon twist are like confectionary powder used as a dusting on a cake – never abused. Ian Fleming felt that both Gin and Vodka should be used and that using violence to mix the drink added more character to his secret agent and so he insisted his should be shaken, but, although, there is something very theatrical about a cocktail shaker, stirred would be my preference.
There are many variations, but as is often the case I feel that the most classic recipe is the one that keeps me coming back for more.
At The Carlyle you get a piano man, the darkened room, close quarters and the rest of your Martini in an iced mini-carafe for you to occasionally refer to as the conversation wears on and the cocktail glass empties.