A hidden bar which prides itself on knowing its Hendricks from its Anchor Junipero, Eau de Vie is the ideal setting to learn about the evolution of a cocktail that found its feet during the American prohibition era. Water is served in antique crystal tumblers, and strains of Chicago’s ‘All that jazz’ reinforce the sense that one is in an intimate speakeasy set up for the discerning tippler.
Winston Churchill makes a regular appearance in this alcohol enhanced history lesson, where his most important contribution to history appears to have been the popularisation of the dry martini (the more vermouth, the wetter the martini) – stating that “I would like to observe the vermouth from across the room while I drink my martini”.
Sipping our lychee martinis, the students seated around the bar are told that ice is the most important part of any martini (beware a bartender who doesn’t fill the glass!). Crushed or broken ice is another warning signal. Serious about its commitment to quality, Eau de Vie has liquid nitrogen on hand to ensure that the drinks are served at ideal temperatures and makes its own vermouth on the premises.