When we think opulence we often think cocktails. One cocktail, in particular, the martini, is synonymous with lavishness – and Beckett’s in Glebe has some of the best in Sydney.
Founded by renowned theatre director Wendy Beckett and veteran chef Jeff Schroeter, Beckett’s is a must-visit for locals, food-lovers, and those that love a well-made tipple. Set within the hallowed walls of the old Darling Mills site on Glebe Point Road Beckett’s is a loving homage to the mid-century Parisian and New York bars and bistros. The stunning sandstone edifice delivers a uniquely Sydney experience.
On the cocktail front, Beckett’s menu has been hand-crafted by the award-winning bartender Charlie Ainsbury. Whilst chatting with Star Observer Charlie explained how he curated the menu with a clear vision in mind.
“Beckett’s emanates a certain atmosphere – I was taking inspiration from the interiors and concept of the venue,” said Charlie. “With Beckett’s olive-velvet curtains and live jazz there’s that feeling of old-world glamour, so martinis were a must.”
Charlie knew the martini had to be a core element to his cocktail menu because of how revered they are by cocktail drinkers and diners alike.
“The martini is a classic drink. Even if you don’t drink martinis yourself you still know about them,” explained Charlie. “It’s a great, classic drink that is held in high regard. If you are going to a venue like Beckett’s it begs for a martini to be there.”
With this in mind, Charlie crafted not just one but a range of martinis exclusive to Beckett’s. Of the 12 cocktails on the menu three are martinis: the Beckett’s Martini, the Chef’s Martini and the House Martini.
The Chef’s Martini was developed in honour of head chef Jeff Schroeter. It’s a riff on a classic that’s been given a modern twist, which Charlie says is just like Jeff. Charlie uses Widges gin, Mancino Secco vermouth and olive brine.
The second on the menu is the Beckett’s Martini dedicated to co-owner Wendy Beckett and crafted to her liking. “It’s bracingly cold, with a London dry gin and a specific ratio of vermouth which leans towards the drier side. To finish, it’s garnished with olives,” detailed Charlie.
Lastly, the House Martini is a creation purely from Charlie’s creative side.
“The House Martini uses Citadelle Gin, which is a great aromatic citrus-driven gin, alongside an Italian Bianco vermouth – which is semi-sweet. Then there is a little dash of verjuice in there which adds a little piquantness and sharpness. We wanted this to be an approachable martini that wasn’t just a glass of straight frozen gin.”
Though Beckett’s specialises in martinis, there is a myriad of great spirits and other cocktails on the menu. Charlie likes to consider where each drinker or diner is during their evening at Beckett’s before recommending a drink. “Whether it’s pre-dinner, during or after dinner, and whether they are just in for a drink before the theatre; we gauge where people are in terms of mood and the time of day to tailor the drink that way.”
“If someone is finishing the night after a big meal, we guide them towards a stronger drink on the menu with an aged spirit base. If they are starting the night and want something fresh then we can give them a Champagne Cocktail, Campari or our Copper Negroni which has Amontillado Sherry, Gentian Liqueur and chocolate bitters. We REALLY love that drink.”
Sounds good to us too, Charlie.
Beckett’s is open from 5pm Wednesday to Sunday for a glass of Champagne or a meal with a group of friends. With a piano player tinkling the ivories (Wednesday to Saturday), the mood is set to enjoy the delicious food, moreish wine, perfect cocktails, and lively atmosphere.