Sunday, October 20, 2013

Shaken, Not Stirred: Martini On The Table At Makati Shangri-La Manila

Shaken or stirred? One of pop culture's iconic and memorable lines has also triggered one of the longest running debates among experts and martini purists. With references to tradition, as well as long discourses on physics, chemistry and thermal dynamics, a clearer and more conclusive answer remains as elusive today as the first time the line was uttered by Her Majesty's most famous spy. But if you have the sudden urge to immerse yourself in this debate, then a visit to the Lobby Lounge of Makati Shangri-La Manila is in order. For the month of October, the Lobby Lounge features this classic cocktail with its Martini on the Table, offering a selection of specialty martinis prepared right before you.  

Chilling a martini right remains at the center of this classic debate, and the blend served at a particular temperature, shaken or stirred,  releases smooth and clean flavors at its peak. And at the Lobby Lounge, the ritual of preparing a proper martini is spot on. Fresh, made right in front you, and served immediately from the cocktail shaker straight to your glass.

Just leave it to Mitch of the Lobby Lounge to prepare a perfect martini. Once you select from among four specialty martini concoctions, the components are prepared. A tray is set up beside you as Mitch goes through each of the ingredients, explaining each step in creating your very own martini. 

Once the ingredients are poured in the cocktail shaker, Mitch then goes in a series of deliberate yet subtle movements so as not to "bruise" the alcohol. Then, the contents of the shaker are then poured to your glass, placed above a glass bowl filled with mist to complete the drama. Nice touch.

The cocktail is then served, ready for your first sip. You have the option to have the garnish on the side or incorporated with your martini. I go for the latter for a complete martini experience. Perfectly chilled, with smooth and clean flavors, one forgets how the debate on shaken or stirred even started...

Start with a clean Blue Martini, a sophisticated blend of Stolichnaya Vodka, Blue Curacao and fresh lime juice, garnished with olives. Closest to the classic martini with the distinct and refreshingly dry vodka flavor, with a just a hint of lime for a subtle sharpness. A modern classic, and a personal favorite.

If your looking for something sweeter, go for the Lychee Martini, an exotic blend of Stolichnaya, Malibu Rum and lychee juice, garnished with a lychee. The rum's buttery and vanilla notes adds to the sweetness of this martini, and images of white sand beaches cross your mind after a few sips.

If you're in a the mood for something more tropical, go for the Flirtini, a refreshing mix of Stolichnaya, pineapple juice and champagne. A light effervescent fizz lines the rim of the glass from the champagne, giving this martini a nice punch. And just in case you're looking for a dessert martini, the Lobby Lounge has you covered with its Chocolate Martini, a rich and sweet blend of Stolichnaya and Bailey's Irish cream, garnished with a shard of dark chocolate.

Whether you feel like a two-martini lunch or a few cocktails after five, the Lobby Lounge's Martini on the Table has just the right martini for you. There's just something about going back to a cocktail classic, and all you need is a freshly made martini to relive the elegance of a bygone era. Blame it on Mad Men, but I think even Don Draper would approve.

The classic martini re-invented in four distinct flavors, each different and unique for that perfect martini moment. And credit goes to Daniel Blais, Head Sommelier & Director of Beverage for Makati Shangri-La Manila for creating a line of sophisticated, inventive yet playful martinis. And for only P 368.75, you can have your very own martini moment at the Lobby Lounge for the month of October. Catch Makati Shangri-La Manila's Martini on the Table at the Lobby Lounge anytime of the day, from October 1 to 31, 2013.

Special thanks to Margaux H. Hontiveros, Communications Executive; Mica S. Cordero, Communications Manager; and Lesley Anne Tan, Director of Communications for an awesome round of martinis. Shaken or stirred? Have it your way at the Lobby Lounge.

Makati Shangri-La, Manila is located at Ayala corner Makati Avenue, Makati City or call 813-8888 for inquiries and reservations. 

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