Monday, August 31, 2009

No food, just drink. Dirty Martini in Covent Garden

This blog is predominantly focused on food, but I am determined to diversify it a bit and appeal to a wider audience, so how about a few words on a cocktail bar?

Located in the heart of Covent Garden, and occupying the former premises of the Retoxbar you will find Dirty Martini. A cosy cocktail bar, they have a variety of cocktails on offer, but with a clear focus on martini's. Filled with smoked salmon from @eatlikeagirl's stand at the Covent Garden Food Fair, I headed on down to this basement bar and met a few friends.

The bar was rammed, people probably attracted by happy hour where martini's can be purchased at half price, for a mere four of your English pounds. I was swiftly warmed by my friends that I needed to block order. "Why so?" I asked. "Cos the barmen are bloody slow" was the rather curt reply.

And she was right, half an hour at the bar before the barmen finally got round to serving me and another 10 to make the damn things. This is definitely by far and away the worst thing about this bar. They just simply couldn't cope. That having been said, the barmen clearly put a lot of energy into their cocktails and the end product was of actually a fairly high standard.

Japanese Martini
Japanese Martini @ Dirty Martini
Wokka Saki shaken with fresh watermelon and fresh apple juice and twist of lychee liquor. Refreshing and reassuringly strong, sweetened by the apple juice and nice subtle undertones of lychee, one of my favourite fruits. Came with a lemongrass swizzle stick. Note to self, do not chew lemongrass.

Cherry Blossom and Espresso Martini
Cherry Blossom and Espresso @ Dirty Martini
Cherry Blossom: Belvedere Pomerancza Vodka, shaken
with fresh raspberries, lemon juice, syrup de gomme & a dash of Maraschino Cherry
Liqueur. Not the biggest fan. Quite sour and not enough cherry flavour. Note to self, flower is just for garnish, not for consumption.
Espresso: Finlandia Vodka, butterscotch schnapps & Tia Maria, shaken with espresso. A coffee with a kick and my favourite of the night. Didn't eat the coffee beans, learnt my lesson by now.

Lychee Martini
Lychee Martini @ Dirty Martini
Millers Gin shaken with Kwai Feh Lychee liqueur, lychee juice & garnished with a lychee. It had to be done. After the Japanese martini, I had a serious taste for lychee. Sweet, strong and lovely. Thought about eating the lychee and devoured it when nobody was looking.

Dirty Martini is a great little bar if it wasn't for such slow service. Having said that, it did start emptying out a little later on, even though the happy hour was still in full flow (it ends at 9). Definitely check it out if you are in the area and you need to satisfy your alcoholic cravings.

Dirty Martini (Website), 11/12 Russell Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5HZ

Dirty Martini on Urbanspoon

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