I've been meaning to post this for a while, but work has been hectic and the long-awaited arrival of Tiffany and the cats from Brisbane has disrupted some of my normal routines.
I recently went on a martini hunt in Auckland, something I'd been planning for a while.
I came across a great little bar in Ponsonby called the Musket Room. The tapas are great and the martinis...well, sublime perhaps comes close.
The staff kindly let me take the martini 'menu' when I left, after trying them all.
Here's a quick sampler:
Advent: zubrowka, wyborowa, krupnik - yep three vodkas in one glass. Superb, instead of the usual 'twist' or olives this comes with a cinamon stick and a piece of apple. Fantastic. Zubrowka is by far my favourite vodka - it's flavoured with a thin strip of grass, called 'bison grass'. I usually drink this one straight from the freezer in a shot glass, but it makes a great triple-treat'ini.
Consortium: havana club (white rum), marmalade, lime, cointreau - marvellous. My first martini made on white rum. A postmodern touch, but delicious.
Cockayne place: vanilla zubrowka, creme de cacao, passionfruit, cream - what-the-f*<$ The glass is rimmed with chocolate. This is a wierd little martini, but fantastic. I describe this as the perfect dessert martini.
Jia bao: jia bao, havana club, lime, cointreau - jia bao is a Chinese spirit. By this stage I'm not remembering much and I didn't make notes on this one, but I'd certainly drink it again.
Homopolitan: cranberry wyborowa, martini rosso, cassis, lime - I know, the thought of a sweet martini rosso instead of a dry vermouth, what's that about. This is another dessert martini, sweet, but with a bite. It certainly isn't overly sweet.
Over Easy: havana reserve, mint, lime - this is a refreshing martini, perhaps the 'chaser' after you've downed one of the chocolate or other dessert martinis.
The Musket Room is tucked away up a flight of stairs in Ponsonby Road, right in the heart of the cafe strip. The decor is cool, dark and wooden. The delightful Mel is the hostess with the mostess, including a snappy line in spats and suits. The bar also plays some cool martini music and the place has real class - linen napkins and a casual, refined ambience.
If you live in Auckland and have never tried it out, get down there and sample some of the best, if a little 'out-there' martinis around.
BTW: Mel will also make you a straight up dirty martini if you ask nicely.