Food - Drink
What Makes The Dukes Martini So Special
Every now and then, a cocktail becomes an attraction in its own right. The martini at Dukes Bar in London is one such drink, with legions of followers who swear it's the only martini worth drinking, and it all started with a tiny shout-out from a persnickety Pulitzer Prize-winning San Francisco journalist.
Dukes bartender Salvatore Calabrese created the bar's signature martini in an effort to satisfy long-time San Francisco Chronicle columnist Stanton Delaplane, who demanded a very cold, very dry martini. As a last resort, Calabrese poured gin straight from the freezer into a martini glass with barely a dash of vermouth.
Delaplane later wrote in his column that Dukes had the best martini in England. Calabrese embraced the spotlight by storing bottles of gin and vodka in the freezer, keeping martini glasses chilled, and wheeling out an ornate trolley to prepare individual cocktails tableside, a tradition that continues today.