Alessandro Palazzi is one of London's old school barmen keeping the tradition of the hotel bar alive and well. He has worked at Dukes Bar in the Dukes Hotel for over 9 years and has a passion for Ian Fleming, James Bond, martinis, and his roving martini trolley. He uses ingredients from near and far, including Sacred Gin, Berry Bros No. 3 Gin, Sacred Vermouth made from English wine, and Italian Amalfi lemons.

Alessandro is inspired by local shops and restaurants in the hotel's neighborhood of St. James, but also from other bartenders and bars in London. Here his guide for finding cocktails in London's hotel bars.

Barman Alessandro Palaazi at Dukes Bar | Photograph courtesy of Dukes Bar

Barman Alessandro Palaazi at Dukes Bar | Photograph courtesy of Dukes Bar

Dukes Bar at Dukes Hotel

Both the bar and the barman, Alessandro Palazzi, are legends and renowned for the martini served from a trolley. Author Ian Fleming was just one of the well known imbibers who frequented Dukes Bar.

35 St James's Place, London SW1A 1NY
T: +44.(0)20.7491.4840 | www.dukeshotel.com/dukes-bar

Photograph courtesy of The Dorchester

Photograph courtesy of The Dorchester

The Bar at The Dorchester

"Bartender Giuliano Morandin has been here for 30 years. He is a classic bartender and he is my inspiration. He makes some amazing drinks and the training of his bar staff is amazing. If you work for Giuliano for 2 years, you can work anywhere. He has produced some amazing bartenders. I like his modesty and his drinks always inspire me to be on the edge and to not go to sleep."

53 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 1QA
T: +44.(0)20.7629.8888 | www.dorchestercollection.com/en/london/the-dorchester

Photograph courtesy of The Connaught Bar

Photograph courtesy of The Connaught Bar

The Connaught Bar

"I love bartender Agostino Perrone at the Connaught. He is modern and he takes the martini to a different level with his use of bitters. He may have copied my martini trolley (I could strangle him, but hey, we all copy each other), but he doesn’t copy the way I do the martini.  He gives it a different experience."

Carlos Place, London W1K 2AL
T: +44.(0)20.7499.7070 | www.the-connaught.co.uk

Photograph courtesy of The Savoy

Photograph courtesy of The Savoy

The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel

"This is a classic bar. It’s about the story. Order the White Lady cocktails which was made famous by Harry Craddock. It is made with gin, fresh lemon juice, Cointreau, and shaken. Very simple with a cherry. Harry Craddock’s book, The Savoy Cocktail Book [Buy the Book], is my bible. It is a very important book and he was so inspirational."

372 Strand, London WC2R 0EU
T: +44.(0)20.7836.4343 | www.fairmont.com/savoy-london

SHOPPING

Photograph courtesy of Fortnum & Mason

Photograph courtesy of Fortnum & Mason

Floris

"Jermyn Street is full of amazing shops and there is a lovely one called Floris that makes perfume. Ian Fleming used to buy his perfume here, which is called Floris 89. I like to walk around this neighborhood; it’s my inspiration. Floris 89 was the inspiration for my cocktail, the Fleming 89."

89 Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6JH
T: +44.(0)22.7930.2885 | www.florislondon.com

Fortnum & Mason

"Experience old England and buy jams and tea."

181 Piccadilly, London W1A 1ER
T: +44.(0)20.7734.8040 | www.fortnumandmason.com

RESTAURANT

Photograph courtesy of Wiltons

Photograph courtesy of Wiltons

Wilton’s

"For classic British oysters and game."

55 Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6LX
T: +44.(0)20.7629.9955 | www.wiltons.co.uk


ALESSANDRO PALAZZI'S COCKTAIL RECIPES

A martini at Dukes Bar | Photograph courtesy of Dukes Hotel

A martini at Dukes Bar | Photograph courtesy of Dukes Hotel

Old School Martini

Ingredients

- 1 part vermouth: Noilly Prat Dry or Martini Extra Dry
- 9 parts gin: Gordon’s, Tanqueray, or Beefeater
- Garnish: Amalfi lemon twist

Method

Stir ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with Amalfi lemon twist.

New School Martini

Ingredients

- 3 parts vermouth: Sacred Dry Vermouth
- 7 parts gin: Sacred Gin or No. 3 Berry Bros

Method

Stir ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with Amalfi lemon twist.

Notes

If I have an early martini I like using Sacred gin, because it is very soft. But if I have a martini after dinner, I love using No. 3 Berry Bros because of the purity. At Dukes I always garnish with an organic Amalfi lemon twist, which is less orangey than a Meyer. Meyer lemons have a little tangerine smell, but they can work well too.

The Manhattan

Ingredients

- 50ml or 60ml Makers Mark Bourbon
- 25 ml Martini Rosso Vermouth
- Few Drop Angostura Bitters
- Garnish: Griottine Cherry

Method

- Stir ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Squeeze organic orange twist and discard.
- Garnish with Griottine cherry a little teaspoon of the juice.

Notes

I love to drink Carpano Antica Formula (the first vermouth ever created) as an after dinner drink neat, or from the fridge. I don't like to mix it with cocktails. For Manhattans, I prefer Martini Rosso. I know the traditional Manhattan is made with rye whiskey, but I love bourbon, but I also use Angostura Bitters. In Paris in the 1990s, a pastry chef introduced me to Griottine cherries which are soaked in Kirsch and are much less sweet and syrupy than Maraschino cherries.


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