The Leopard Lounge Bar Guide to Making the Perfect Martini


Serving over 14 different types of Martini, the Leopard Lounge Bar certainly knows how to make a first class Martini.


The origin of the martini is a hotly debated topic but it’s believed to have gained popularity from the 1870s onward. The original martini was prepared with gin and sweet vermouth and would have had a much sweeter flavour than the cocktails that are served today. As time went on, the quantities were adjusted in favour of a higher percentage of gin and less vermouth. A deceptively simple blend, bartenders are known to spend years perfecting their signature martini and The Leopard Lounge Bar at The Chesterfield Palm Beach serves 14 different varieties of the drink. The vodka martini is also hugely popular and is famously known as the tipple of choice for the fictional character James Bond. Whether its gin or vodka that makes your perfect martini, it should have a proof of above 40 per cent so that the flavours are detectable in the finished cocktail.

Making the Perfect Martini

As Food & Beverage Manager at The Chesterfield Palm Beach, Greg Palmer knows a thing or two about making the perfect martini. His favourite one to prepare for guests is The Strawberry Chester‘Field’ as ‘It is the perfect combination of sweet and little bit of spice. I start with muddling three strawberries, then adding ice, then 2 oz. of Tito’s Vodka, ½ oz. of an orange liqueur, a ½ oz. of fresh strawberry purée, and a splash of jalapeno juice. After that I shake it for 30 seconds to get it nice and cold till there are ice crystals forming on top. Afterwards, I pour the liquid into a frozen martini glass, and add the finishing touches, which are a fresh strawberry and jalapeno slice on the rim of the glass. And last but not least, top the martini with a splash of Prosecco to add a little fizz.’

Whether you decide to stick to the classics or experiment with some new favourites, make sure you’re prepped and ready to go with these essential steps for making the perfect martini.

Begin with Good Ingredients

For a drink with only three ingredients, quality is paramount. Make sure you have plenty of ice as well as thoroughly chilled martini glasses. Place them in a freezer for at least one hour, as this ensures that the cocktail will be icy cold on serving, which is critical for a martini. Excellent quality gin or vodka and vermouth is key, as is a metal cocktail shaker and fresh produce for your desired garnish. The Leopard Classic Martini at The Leopard Lounge Bar is made using Ketel One Vodka, dry vermouth and finished with three olives.

Making the Perfect Martini

Wet vs. Dry

The difference between the two is the amount of spirit in comparison to vermouth, with a wetter version meaning more vermouth and a drier style allowing for more spirit. Dry martinis have become fashionable in recent times but a wet martini is a great choice for those wishing to sip on a less potent concoction.

Shaken or Stirred

While James Bond always requests his martini be ‘shaken not stirred,’ martini lovers have differing opinions concerning the optimum way to prepare the cocktail. A shaken martini will, as the name suggests, be more vigorously prepared and may well appear cloudier in colour. It also requires a cocktail shaker whereas a stirred martini can be made in almost any vessel. Bartenders advise caution when opting for a shaken martini as too much movement can over-dilute the spirit.

Making the Perfect Martini

Choice of Garnish

Again, because the martini requires so few ingredients, a well-thought-out choice of garnish counts for a lot. Base your decision on the flavours already apparent in the spirit and pick a garnish that’s going to compliment and draw out those tastes. Keep it simple with citrus peel, a great addition to both gin and vodka, making sure you carefully squeeze the peel skin-side down into the glass. Alternatively, a dirty Martini is served with plain, pitted olives and the trick here is to squeeze the olives slightly so that their flavour can be pleasingly muddled with the cocktail.

Work your way through the extensive martini menu at The Leopard Lounge Bar.

Image Credits: Lead image © iStock/Instants. Leopard Lounge Bar  ©  Red Carnation Hotels. Martini glasses on the bar  © iStock/Jodi Jacobson. Pouring a Martini  © iStock/sf_foodphoto.

Related Articles

Loveheart macaroons at Hotel d
Crafting a love story with Red Carnation Hotels

Red Carnation Hotels' bespoke dining and curated experiences write love stories the whole year through.

14th February 2020

Seafood at The Leopard Lounge
Sourcing delicious sustainable seafood in Florida

Sustainable seafood is as delicious as it is responsible. Here we explore the most sustainable catches in Florida and where to enjoy them.

15th November 2019

The Living Wall Exterior
Our top five sustainable initiatives

From eliminating single-use plastics to promoting sustainable, local partnerships, here we illustrate our ethical initiatives.