Stoke Newington bar Fontaine’s has introduced a new menu centred on that classic drink – the Martini.
Like its American art deco-inspired interiors, the venue has kept its new list rooted in tradition. Martinis are made with either Belvedere Vodka or Oxley Gin and prepared according to guests’ preferences.
‘It’s about getting rid of misconceptions around classics and making them accessible,’ owner Ruby Fontaine told Imbibe.
‘Some people are scared of the classics because they think they’ll end up on the floor, but that doesn’t have to be the case. We give [our customers] water, we give them snacks and we make them a great drink for a great experience.’
In her development of the new menu, Fontaine was inspired by the old-school elegance and glamour of New York cocktail bars – but there are a few playful twists along the way as well.
The Roku Gin Martini marries Genmaicha-infused Ambrato vermouth, a discarded lemon twist and bergamot oil for a delicate riff on the Martini. Meanwhile, the Belvedere Smogóry Forest Martini switches things up with caraway-infused Belvedere, Martini Ambrato vermouth and buckwheat honey spray.
And what would a Martini menu be without the inclusion of the classic cocktail’s caffeinated cousin? ‘A few of my bartenders worked with Dick Bradsell, [the creator of the Espresso Martini], so we make our Espresso Martini just like he did,’ Fontaine said.
However, she is quick to note that her bar’s offerings go beyond the Martini in both its classic and modern forms.
‘The one drink I always keep on the menu is a Ramos Gin Fizz, because it’s delicious, though I think my staff hate me for it,’ she laughed. ‘And if a customer isn’t a Martini fan and wants a Piña Colada, we’ll make them the best damn Piña Colada they’ve ever had.’
The Martini menu is available now at Fontaine’s.