Dukes Martin[i,ez]

“You gotta have the Dukes Martini! It’s a thing. They have a cart.”

Martini Cart

When famed journalist and international traveler Camper English tells you, you have to try a thing, you probably should, at least once!

Well, if it is drink related, anyway.

So, yes, the Dukes Hotel Bar has a Martini Cart. This system, I believe originated when Salvatore Calabrese was the head barman at the Dukes Bar.

When you order a Martini, (or Martinez,) the bartender, in this case the wonderful Alessandro Palazzi, rolls the cart out to your table with what he will need to make your cocktail, including frozen glassware, Vermouth, and very, very chilled Gin.

Alesandro Mixes

His first step is to dash into your glass a little custom vermouth, “made with English wine”. If you desire your Martini or Martinez “Wet” he will leave the dashes of vermouth in the glass. Otherwise, it is just a rinse. Next he raises a frosted bottle of Gin and pours a health measure into the glass. Finally, he finishes the Martini by cutting a wide swath of peel from a lemon and squeezing it over the glass.

Dukes Martinez

Just don’t have more than one, if you have plans for the rest of your evening!

The Harp

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Good Life at The Harp, London, UK.

Looking for a great bar in Covent Garden, London? Somewhere close to Charing Cross Station and Trafalgar Square maybe? Then come and try the Harp – a fantastic pub in Chandos Place.

The pub’s emphasis is firmly on real ale, real cider and real conversation, with 8 hand pumps on our bar serving a great selection of beers from our favourite breweries. It’s a place to meet friends and make friends.

Try the buzzing downstairs bar with its collection of old victorian portraits and beautiful coloured glass frontage. Or seek out the calmer upstairs room with its comfortable chairs – a place to relax and enjoy a more intimate atmosphere.

London’s Calling

As you may recall, there was some chance I might go to London for a celebration of the life and legacy of legendary barman Harry Craddock.

With the help of many friends, especially including Trevor Easter, H. Joseph Ehrman, Brian MacGregor, Steven Liles, Jared Brown, Anistatia Miller, Pernod Ricard, and the San Francisco chapter of the United States Bartender’s Guild, I will be able to attend that function.

I promise to represent our community with as much style, grace, and honor as possible.

I will also take as many notes as I can muster and lots of pictures.

Thanks again to all of you, it is truly humbling to find so many good people wishing you well and supporting your dreams.