When you sit at the bar at Bentley, there’s a lot of fire, spices and herbs going around.
One cocktail, for example, sees the bartender (Phil Gandevia, easily one of the best in Australia) – put a cardamom pod in the bottom of a jigger, flame it, and then add the gin. I’d tell you the name of the cocktail he was making, but I’ve stopped taking notes at bars – and besides, the bar staff here will make you cocktails off the menu anyway. You just need to ask.
One cocktail name I can’t forget, however, is the Bentley cocktail – a classic that appeared in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. It’s lucky this restaurant just so happens to have the same name as this much forgotten cocktail, as it’s fantastic.
Made with Calvados and Dubonnet, the version here adds Peychauds bitters (and possibly pastis as well), a touch of smokiness, and is served in a tiny imitation wine bottle with a wine glass to pour it in. Continue reading