Monday, January 17, 2011

Martini of the Week 3: Archduke Wine Bar, London

Agent Triple P has been visiting the Archduke (built under the arches of Hungerford railway bridge) wine bar near the Festival Hall in London since 1983, when he was first taken there by his then girlfriend V.  Quite a few other young and not so young ladies have also also passed through its large glass doors with Triple P over what is, worryingly, now nearly three decades.

Agent Triple P was there last week celebrating his birthday with Agent DVD and L who kindly bought him dinner.  As we got there a bit early we decided to sneak in a quick Martini which was served by the quite lovely C.  The waiting staff at the Archduke these days (it has been under new owneship for the last eighteen months) is variable but C was splendid: efficient, friendly and very pretty!

Triple P and Agent DVD's favourite table is on the right!

Triple P was happily sat upstairs but not, that evening, in his and Agent DVD's favourite spot overlooking the ground floor (great for girlie spotting).

The lovely C informed us that the Archduke Martinis are always made using Absolut vodka and ours was very good indeed.  It suffered from having the now de rigeur three olives and the glass wasn't quite cold enough but otherwise it was excellent.  We always find that if a Martini is served by a pretty girl it tastes better anyway!

Absolut, is from Ă…hus in southern Sweden and, therefore fulfills Triple P's Baltic origin vodka criteria.  It has been produced there since 1879 which gives it the heritage that these made up premium brands like Grey Goose just don't have.  However, it wasn't launched onto the global market for another century.  It's not exactly exclusive, however, with nearly 100 million litres a year being produced.  Until 2008 it was owned by the Swedish government owned V&S Absolut Spirits but was sold to the French pernod Ricard company.

Still it made an  excellent birthday martini.

We'd give it a 7/10.