Customisation may have reached new levels as technology has advanced, but a martini made to one’s own specifications is, of course, the norm: would sir or madam like his or her martini dry, dirty, wet, with a twist, shaken or stirred?
Yet to actually establish what type of martini truly suits you best, Grey Goose will be setting up the world’s smallest bar in Edinburgh, housed in a French artisanal bakery camionnette, and disguised as the mobile Boulangerie François. Inside, mixologist Oli Blackburn will lead guests towards martinis that perfectly suit their personalities and tastes.
The 20-minute consultations (held between 12pm and 7pm from July 17 to 19, booking for which begins on July 1, as a ballot system) will take bons viveurs though a series of surprising experiments to learn about the five elements of taste – sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami – in order to discover their martini profile. A bespoke drink is then created, with the recipe available to take away and recreate.
“In the same way that Grey Goose creator François Thibault broke with tradition when he created a luxury vodka in the Cognac region using the finest French ingredients,” says Grey Goose UK marketing manager Helen Francis, “we are inviting people to experience the extraordinary by stepping inside the camionnette to discover their perfect martini in our luxurious and hidden bar.”
The vehicle, which seats two to three guests and will be parked in Multrees Walk, by Harvey Nichols, has been designed by restaurant-interior expert du jour Shayne Brady of designer firm Brady Williams, which created interiors for Corbin & King’s restaurant Fischer’s in London. The idea for a boulangerie van pays homage to the ingredient that Grey Goose is crafted from – soft winter Picardie wheat, which is also used to make bread.
After their adventure, guests should take care when leaving this secret hideaway – for, as Dorothy Parker wrote, “I like to have a martini / Two at the very most. / After three I’m under the table, / after four I’m under my host.”