Martini Bar at the Barbican

Squaremeal Review of Martini Bar at the Barbican ?

The bowels of brutalist behemoth, the Barbican Centre, might not be your default go-to for a mean Martini, but the carousel bar here produces them in abundance. The venue was installed for the 2012 exhibition, ‘Designing 007’, and proved such a hit it became a permanent fixture. Ian Fleming would have been amused to find that the Vesper Martini (dedicated by James Bond to double agent Vesper Lynd) remains popular six decades after its invention – albeit made here with Sipsmith gin (Bond specifies Gordon’s), vodka and Lillet, but properly ‘large and very strong and very cold and very well-made’. Plum saké and bergamot Vodkatini is one of various alternatives at £9.50 to leave you shaken and stirred: especially when the price is reduced to £5 during happy hour (5-6pm). Otherwise, order rhubarb and lavender Spritz, or a blood-orange Margarita and settle back to spy on the Barbican’s always intriguing patrons.

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