Dry Martini at Melia Fenix, Madrid November 2015

Venue: The Dry Martini Bar at the Melia Fenix, Madrid
Recipe 1: Tanqueray 10, Noilly Prat dry vermouth, stirred, olives
Recipe 2: Aviation Cocktail featuring Aviation Gin
Price: Re-assuringly expensive
WBM score: 95/100

Firstly, thanks to our follower @dubaimartini for the challenge.

Javier de las Muelas (or JDLM as he is more commonly known) started the first Dry Martini in Barcelona to great acclaim. He subsequently opened in Madrid, and now also has a London location. Both are on our challenge list, but due to travel plan, Madrid was up first.

The bar is located on the ground floor of the Melia Fenix hotel, just off the Paseo de la Castellano and near to the Colon metro stop. The hotel building itself is not particularly notable and the Hard Rock Cafe on the corner may well make you think you’re in the wrong place (and wish you were somewhere else!) Persevere however and you will find yourself in an ostentatious lobby and a wonderful art deco inspired bar. At WBM perhaps the only thing we love as much as martinis, is art deco.

The bar staff are very well presented in their white jackets, each with a different martini-inspired quote embroidered on the rear. One of our favourites from either Fran Lebowitz or Steve Allen (depending on which Internet source you trust), “You shouldn’t let children mix the martinis. It is unseemly and they use too much vermouth.”

Unusually the house gin is Bombay Sapphire. It’s not a particularly lauded gin. Yes it is popular, but that can be attributed perhaps more to a successful marketing campaign than the actual product. For our purposes however, we were starting with our benchmark with Tanqueray 10. Of course.