When it comes to alcoholic tasting experiences vodka may not be the first drink that comes to mind, but premium vodka brand Belvedere are set to change all that with a new exhibition this summer – Legends of the Martini!
Opening on the 1st August 2014, Legends of the Martini is an all sensory experience exploring and celebrating the iconic cocktail. Head to the Royal Academy Senate Rooms, Burlington Gardens to enjoy a curated experience which will take you on an interactive journey through the evolution of the martini, from gin through to vodka, meeting glamorous and enigmatic characters from popular culture that have made the martini famous along the way. The experience will explore the evolution of the martini and its significance in the life of each of the legends.
A selection of cutting edge names in photography, set design, film and music have been commissioned to re-interpret characters or ‘legends’ from history associated with the martini.
Guests will be invited to match a list of legends including Elizabeth Taylor, Ernest Hemingway, Kate Moss and of course, perhaps most famously, James Bond, to a piece in the experience, based on one of the characters.
Still life photographer Jess Bonham, who has created work for likes of Kenzo, Vogue, and Twin Magazine, is working alongside set designer Gemma Tickle (Elle, GQ Style, Wallpaper*) to create a selection of still life images for six of the legends. Film maker Chris Read who has created films for Adidas, Dr. Martins and Kenzo has reinterpreted one of the legends through film and concept house band Let the Machines do the Work, who have recently toured alongside Booka Shade, have created a musical score based on one of the legends. Poet Greta Bellamacina (Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Tatler) has created the accompanying imaginative text and Set Designer Carrie Louise (Vogue, Another, Vanity Fair, GRAFF) has designed the exhibition.
Curator Tory Turk said: “The martini cocktail has had many manifestations throughout its development, and now holds a distinct image within popular culture. Its connotations evoke an invitation to a sophisticated lifestyle and Legends of the Martini opens the door into this world.
“From the roaring 20s, past the swinging sixties, through the 90s to the present day, it will highlight characters who have been known to enjoy a martini (or two) in their time.”
Guests also have the opportunity to purchase tickets to the accompanying tasting bar where they can sample three flights, or miniature versions of martinis on arrival, showcasing the variables of the martini including: Shaken vs. Stirred, a choice of vermouths, Wet vs. Dry and different garnishes.
The sessions that will last for an hour and fifteen minutes and will run from 5pm-10:30pm Monday- Thursday, from midday- 10:30pm Friday and Saturday and midday- 5pm on Sundays. Larger versions of guest’s preferred martini variation, alongside special martinis inspired by the legends will then be available to purchase.
Claire Smith, head of mixology and spirit creation at Belvedere Vodka said: “The martini is one of the world’s most iconic drinks, it is steeped with history and glamour, yet is extremely divisive. We want to demystify the drink, helping people work out which martini suits their palate and teaching them that there really is a martini to suit everyone.”
The curated part of experience (exclusive of the tasting session) will also be open to the public free of charge from 10am-10pm daily and a pop-up martini bar selling a selection of Belvedere martinis will also be open outside the entrance to the experience from 6pm-10pm daily (excluding Friday).
Belvedere Legends of the Martini Experience (includes curated experience and tasting)
Friday 1st August- Sunday 31st August
Royal Academy Senate Rooms (Burlington Street entrance)
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD
Opening times: 5pm-10:30pm Monday- Thursday
Midday- 10:30pm Friday and Saturday
Midday- 5pm Sundays
Tickets are available from: www.belvederevodka.com/martinilegends for £15.