Belvedere explores Martini ‘legends’ with gallery experience

belvedere martini bottle

An interactive visitor experience has been created at a leading London gallery for super-premium vodka Belvedere to take people through the evolution of the Martini cocktail.

Exploring the classic drink, from gin through to vodka, it looks at some of the “legends” associated with its history, from Elizabeth Taylor, Ernest Hemingway and Kate Moss to James Bond.

Running throughout August, the curated Belvedere experience has brought together cutting-edge names in photography, set design, film and music to re-interpret these legends.

Guests can buy tickets to the accompanying tasting bar where they can sample three flights, or miniature versions of Martinis on arrival. These will showcase the variables of the Martini serve, such as whether it is shaken or stirred, whether it is made with wet or dry vermouths, and the impact of different garnishes.

Larger versions of a guest’s preferred Martini variation, alongside special Martinis inspired by the legends, will be available to buy.

The Belvedere Legends of the Martini Experience is running at the Royal Academy Senate Rooms, off Piccadilly, in the West End from August 1 to 31.

Sessions will last an hour and 15 minutes, taking place from 5pm to 10.30pm Monday to Thursday, from midday to 10.30pm on Friday and Saturday and from midday to 5pm on Sundays. Tickets at £15 are available at

The curated part of the experience, exclusive of the tasting session, will also be open to the public free of charge from 10am to 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 to 10pm every day except Fridays.

Still life photographer Jess Bonham, who has created work for likes of Kenzo, Vogue, and Wonderland Magazine, is working with set designer Gemma Tickle to create a selection of still life images for six of the legends.

Film-maker Chris Read who has created films for Adidas, Dr Martens and Kenzo, has reinterpreted one of the legends through film. Concept house band Let the Machines do the Work, who recently toured alongside Booka Shade, have created a musical score based on one of the legends.

Poet Greta Bellamacina has created the accompanying imaginative text and set designer Carrie Louise 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 ‘60s, through the ‘90s to the present day, it will highlight characters who have been known to enjoy a Martini, or two, in their time.”

Claire Smith, head of mixology and spirit creation at Belvedere Vodka, added: “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.”

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