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For richer, for pourer: Matt Whiley from @DachandSons shares his know how

Posted at 4:45 pm, April 19, 2013 in Food & Drink
Dach and Sons bartender Matt Whiley © Rob Greig

They may know how to tantalize your palette and throw some moves that will really make your eyes bulge but how much do you really know about your favourite bartender? We thought it was about time someone asked them their opinion on cocktails (they’re the experts after all) and to share a tipple you can easily make on a Friday evening. Today’s bartender is Matt Whiley from Dach & Sons…

Cocktails – classic or innovative?
‘With all our cocktail bars [also Purl and the Worship Street Whistling Shop] we’re very sympathetic to the history of the cocktail, but I love to push the boundaries with modern techniques.’

Favourite classic cocktail? Best variation?
‘The sazerac – a New Orleans drink of American rye whiskey with dashes of bitters, some sugar and anisette aroma. My variation is cognac and rye whiskey stirred down with sugar and Peychaud’s bitters and served with an absinthe “air”. We call it the Green Fairy sazerac.’

What do you think the next trend in cocktails will be?
‘I think bartenders will continue to find new and innovative ways of creating drinks with beautiful service ware and garnishes as well as many different techniques from the kitchen.’

Leave it to the pros

Matt Whiley’s signature cocktail is the Minus 42 martini (pictured).

Minus 42 martini (a liquid-nitrogen-chilled martini)

60ml vodka or gin

Dash of orange and mandarin bitters

Splash of vermouth

Dispense liquid nitrogen into a Dilvac nitrogen container. Pour vodka or gin into a Boston tin, put the tin in the liquid nitrogen, and stir down. Add bitters to the glass and rinse it with vermouth. Use a thermometer to determine when the vodka or gin drops to around -40C. When it does, dispense liquid into glass and garnish with a lemon twist. NB: when using liquid nitrogen, safety goggles and gloves must be worn.

One to try at home

No liquid nitrogen in your fridge? Here’s Richard Ehrlich’s simpler recipe.


Ratios are everything in a martini. Some bartenders make it with little more than a drop of vermouth, many drinkers find that too dry. Start with this – around 6:1 gin to vermouth; 10:1 is just about the max. I like 8:1. It’s absolutely vital to keep the gin in the freezer. If you can keep the glass in the freezer, even better.

7.5ml dry vermouth

50ml gin

One section lemon peel

Measure out the vermouth. Pour the gin into the (chilled) martini glass or a small wine glass if you don’t have martini glasses. Add the vermouth. Hold the lemon peel over the glass between your index fingers and thumbs with the skin side facing down. Quickly snap it to release a spray of lemon oil on to the drink.

To view the 50 best cocktail bars in London, see timeout.com.

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