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Let the fun be-gin!

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East Hotel has teamed up with The Martini Whisperer to present a series of events throughout the year, starting with an international gin tasting at Joe’s Bar on 19 February.

Dapper, sophisticated, goes by a catchy moniker, and knows his way around a martini…

Nope, I’m not talking about 007. Phillip A. Jones, better known as The Martini Whisperer, likes his martinis stirred, not shaken (less likely to flake the ice), and, unlike Bond, prefers gin over vodka martinis.

As Phillip tells me, “For the purist, it’s always going to be gin. There are so many types to choose from and lots of complexity in the botanicals means your Martini permutations are practically infinite.

Credit: Thorson Photography.

“But Vodka has its place too, especially in the US. Its pristine purity, if done well, can make for a potent cocktail if you like living dangerously—just ask 007!”

Phillip isn’t called the Martini Whisperer for nothing. As well as working as a spirit consultant and national tourism judge, he also created the official martini for Canberra’s 100th birthday—the Centini (which, in true Canberra fashion, has a version for North and Southside)—and has run many successful events throughout the capital, teaching locals how to master the perfect cocktail.

Understandably, I was very excited to hear that he has teamed up with East Hotel (a firm favourite of the HerCanberra team) to present a series of events throughout the year, starting with an international gin tasting at Joe’s Bar on Wednesday 19 February.

Credit: Adam McGrath.

Dion Bisa, Brand Director of East Hotel, explains, “It’s going to be a really fun, intimate and playful evening to explore a select number of international gins with different tonics and garnishes—alongside some delicious Italian antipasto! There will also be the opportunity to then purchase your favourite gin of the evening in a carefully curated cocktail.”

“This will be a great opportunity to explore how gin is made and meet four carefully selected gins from around the world”, Phillip adds. “I’ll share the stories behind the labels and something of the spirits and drinking cultures of each gin, for each country has its own approach to the spirit.”

Credit: Adam McGrath.

So, why a gin evening? Well, for Dion there was never any question. “We all love gin at Joe’s Bar and the range of gins available is now so vast that the decision was easy.”

Even easier was the decision to have Phillip host the event. “There is no one else who compares to Phillip in their knowledge and passion of gins,” Dion says. “He is a true delight to work with and has the ability to share his knowledge of gins in a way that is very accessible and fun.”

At $50 for 90 minutes, the event is gentle on the wallet as well as being a great chance to explore four of the best international gins with someone who is truly an expert in craft spirits. The gins being showcased include Roku Gin from Japan (tried and test by yours truly and given an enthusiastic thumbs up), Gin Mare Mediterranean Gin from Spain, SipSmith V.J.O.P Gin from England, and Elephant Gin from Germany—all with matching Fever Tree Tonics, of course.

Credit: Adam McGrath.

If your New Year’s Resolution was to renew your gin-membership (sorry, couldn’t help myself), now is your chance. However, places are limited so it’s best to get in quick.

“We want to keep the event nice and intimate so only 20 or places are offered and questions are most welcome!”, Phillip tells me. “The tasting experience will be perfect for anyone wanting to expand their gin horizons and have a great time in the process.”

Of course, what kind of writer would I be if I left you without Phillip’s secret to a perfect martini?

“If one does nothing else, it’s the chilling of everything,” Phillip explains.

“The glasses, mixer and ingredients need to be a cold as possible, for a Martini needs that pristine chill—otherwise, in 20 minutes it’s just a glass of warm booze. The company and ambience also matter. A perfect Martini is an occasion.”

I’ll drink to that.

the essentials

What: The Martini Whisperer Series – Traveller’s Gin
When: Wednesday 19 February from 5.30-7 pm
Where: Joe’s Bar, East Hotel
Book: via Eventbrite

Feature image: Adam McGrath.

This editorial was created in partnership with East Hotel. For more information about sponsored partnerships, click here

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