Here’s how one bar unlocks tens of thousands of Martini combinations

The Barber Shop Martini Project

The Martini Project

  • 45ml Star of Bombay
  • 15ml dry vermouth
  • 2 dashes of coriander tincture
  • It’s your choice – a twist? An olive?
    • Stir down over ice, serve up in a frosted cocktail glass.

As Mikey Lowe writes in his story about the Martini, everyone has an opinion on how to mix one: “If you’re ever lost in the outback, sit down and mix a Martini. Within seconds someone will be by to tell you you’re doing it wrong,” he writes.

The Martini is a personal thing — how you want it is how you should drink it, we reckon. Stirred or shaken — yes, we’ve indulged in this apparently unpardonable sin at times (sometimes you need a colder-than-cold Martini, ok?) — is only the start of it. Of course, the style of gin you use plays a role, so too the garnish. And The Barber Shop’s Martini Project adds a further dimension: tinctures.

As you’d expect from the Gin Bar of the Year, The Barber Shop in Sydney makes a lot of Martinis. Their Martini Project allows guests to customise their Martini to their liking with the addition of a couple of drops of tinctures from a wide array of flavours — and in the process unlocks tens of thousands of Martinis. There’s got to be one for every guest, right? The Barber Shop’s general manager David Nguyen-Luu tells us more below.

What’s the benefits of using the tinctures?
“We decided to create The Martini Project as it was another progression in our gin profile here at The Barber Shop. If you’re into Martinis, then we’re it. The project is to create a Martini of your own style – dry, sweet or savoury. The idea behind the tinctures is all about manipulating the flavour of the Martini – enhancing the botanicals of the chosen gin, and bringing out different flavour profiles. With 400 gins on the shelf, our biggest-selling cocktail is the Martini. The tinctures are also a great addition to our Gin and Tonics too. Rather than having a salad of garnishes in your Gin and tonic, we can change the dynamics of the old G&T with a few drops of the tinctures into your drink.