THE benchmark

In a well-hidden underground lab filled with boffins in white coats, locked in an impenetrable safe made from exotic materials such as Unobtanium, we keep our closely guarded secret benchmark Martini recipe. Only one bartender in the whole wide world currently knows how to make it properly and holds an official WBM “License to Serve.”

OK, we went a bit James Bond there for a minute. Fact is, the benchmark is possibly the world’s worst kept secret, but the rest of it is all true. Except for the bit about labs, boffins and a safe.

As our loyal followers know, our benchmark Martini consists of Tanqueray 10, stirred extra dry with Noilly Prat, and garnished with three olives. It’s what we order as our first martini everywhere we go. Having a benchmark allows us not only to enjoy a (hopefully) consistent drink anywhere in the world, but it lets us assess a bartender’s skills with a simple control. Admittedly that is starting to sound a but scientific – as stated previously, there really are absolutely no boffins involved in this process.

Tanqueray 10 has featured as the gin in our benchmark for the last two years. We do love our Tanqueray, but in the last two years we’ve also made a lot of new friends at a whole bunch of small-batch distillers all around the globe. And they have repeatedly demonstrated that they want to be part of the conversation about gin in general, and their brands in particular. We applaud their commitment and want to do our small part in recognising it.

So we have created an annual competition to replace the gin in our benchmark. It is open to anyone who makes a commercially-available gin. The Contenders will be featured at a number of  events at some really great bars and restaurants so our followers can participate in the tastings and help us choose our next benchmark gin.

Our easy 3-stage martini testing

Want to put your gin forward for consideration? Click here to find out our more about the Contender’s Challenge Series and how to join in.

Want to be on the the guest list when the Contenders are announced? Just sign up to our blog, and follows us @wbmchallenge too.