After helping to judge the Cocktail Shakedown hosted by Barlounge last week, it got me thinking about the super-talented bartenders we have here in Chester, and how much more we should celebrate them. So – I have decided to write some stories about the fabulous drinks that these guys create, and of course we are starting with the Martini …
As we get older, we want to drink more glamorous drinks – and nothing is more decadent and elegant than the Martini, with a million variations and the most gorgeous of garnishes. You may be a Martini purist when only the original will do, or you may like things shaken and stirred up a bit, or maybe deep down and dirty like they do at the Waldorf Astoria.
Whatever you fancy, our Chester bartenders are on it! And here are a few of their favourite creations with some very familiar inspirations …
WOOD Restaurant Chester
Wood Chester is one of my favourite Chester restaurants and isn’t even a year old yet, but Simon Wood’s third venue is making quite a stir in the cocktail stakes. Chef patron Simon Wood won Masterchef UK back in 2015 and has never looked back. His food is super tasty and oh-so-elegant, and the same can be said for his Rocktails!
Thought you were satisfied with just one espresso martini? Think again as these guys have a selection of different mixes for you to choose from:
Classic – vanilla vodka, kahlua
MCR Black Parade – cognac, kahlua, vanilla
Royal Blood – solerno blood orange, chocolate
I love ordering one of these instead of a dessert – they are absolutely divine and with much fewer calories.
Exotic Booze Club
Since they launched just a few weeks ago, Exotic Booze Club have built up quite a following – and we’re not surprised! We absolutely love their ‘Catch me if you can’ branding and fabulous Panam style flight cabin located right in the heart of Chester Indoor Market … this is no ordinary bar and we strongly recommend you buy your ticket and jump on board one of their fabulous Tasting Experiences – this is our kinda bar!
So their entry into our Martini Guide wasn’t ever going to be middle of the road!
‘The Black Rose’
30ml The King of Soho London Dry
20ml Passoa Passion Fruit Liqueur
20ml Lime Juice
20ml Monin Banana Syrup
1 teaspoon activated charcoal powder
Stir very well with ice and strain into a chilled coupette.
This fabulous Chester favourite Restaurant & Bar has recently had a very sexy makeover, and here at WLGT we are totally in love with their gorgeous new look. And after going to review the restaurant recently, we can also report that the food and drink is also something to write home about … (check it out right here).
Duttons After Dark Martini is a twist on the espresso martini, using all super-premium products.
Paddy & Scott’s slow roasted coffee
Absolute Vanilla 25ml
Patron XO cafe 25ml
This boozy martini has 75ml of alcohol with a smooth coffee flavour and a red fruits finish, garnished with star anise…perfect for winter sipping ???
Three Wrens Gin
I only discovered this fabulous (and very local) artisan gin distillery very recently, and after meeting owner and distiller Nick and sampling his Apple Crumble edition, I am hooked! Not only are Three Wrens gins great quality, but they also make bespoke gins for clients including bars, restaurants and dining pubs – and they have just created a very special blood orange batch for a client in Valencia.
What do distillers drink on a Friday?
The Filthy Hot Gibson
5 ml Belsazar Dry Vermouth (to rinse the glass)
75ml Three Wrens Original Dry Gin
Teaspoon of pickled chilli juice
Cocktail onions to finish
This is their take on the classic Gibson Martini, surely one of the finest drinks ever! They like to keep it nice and dry, rinsing the glass with vermouth first, before lightly stirring the gin with ice and straining into a chilled cocktail glass. To finish, garnish with cocktail onions and add a kick of heat from a teaspoon of pickled Chilli juice.
Olive Tree Brasserie
Another great restaurant in Chester is Olive Tree Brasserie and they take their cocktails pretty seriously too.
Their signature martini is the Greekstar Martini made from Mastiha Skinos, Passoa, pineapple juice and Prosseco! (Its available on 2-4-1 before 7pm every day or all day every Thirsty Thursday).
The key ingredient mastiha is a Greek liqueur made using the resin from the mastiha tree on the Greek island of Chios. The resin is harvested by making small cuts in the tree, bringing out drops of the resin that are said to look like tears. The mastic tree is extraordinarily rare and only grows in the southern part of the Greek island of Chios, in the eastern Aegean.
The Dining room, Tattenhall
Brand new Cheshire restaurant The Dining Room has certainly got everyone’s attention recently. This is a superb quality venue, very new to the local dining scene with a fabulous Chef, Dominic Ash who worked alongside Marcus Wareing at Petrus. Matching the fabulous food with stunning drinks is the job of Genesis Valenzuela – and his favourite Martini is inspired by James Bonds Vesper – but with a villain twist.
Vesper 666 Martini is made from:
Siberian Mamont Vodka 6 times distilled
Osmoz Gin made from grapes with 6 eaux-de-vie aromas
Best served at chill temperature 6 degrees in a Bergamot smoked martini glass.
And Lillet Blanc matured in oak produced in Bordeaux France
Complimented with ‘Pick your poison’ garnish:
Silver skin onion with French caviar
Silver skin onion with salmon roe
Olives or Olives with rosemary
And lemon twist as Mr Bond’s preference
Red Door Chester
Red Door Chester has been around for a long time and is still everyone’s favourite neighbourhood bar. Nick and his team know a thing or two about great drinks, and their Rhubarb & Strawberry Martini sounds divine …
JJ Whitely rhubarb vodka, strawberry liqueur, apple juice, lemon juice, vanilla syrup, topped with vanilla foam and freeze-dried strawberries. Served with a shot of prosecco & a generous helping of strawberry pearls.
Born after a fortunate dessert mix up in a quality restaurant where an Eton Mess had its raspberries replaced with rhubarb. One of Red Door’s top cocktail aficionados decided to emulate that in every way, from the fluffy white meringue right down to the glass of prosecco he was drinking at the time.
A sweet and satisfying treat.
If you’ve enjoyed an exceptional drink somewhere local – then take a pic, post it on Instagram and tag us in @welovegoodtimesltd – you cold win a £10 drink voucher at one of our favourite bars!