Centenary Martini 2013

Centini logo

Earlier this year I created a special cocktail to help mark Canberra’s 100th Birthday: the Centenary Martini.

Also known as The Centini. It has two versions, the Northside and the Southside and uses special ingredients sourced from around Australia, and aims to distil the essence of our wonderful city in a glass.

I used the robust and excellent Sabre and Cutlass Gins from WA, the West Winds Gin and two of the superb Maidenii vermouths from Victoria as the main ingredients.

As the Western Australian newspaper noted, ‘perhaps the best thing to come out of Canberra in a decade.


946769_457531224322105_2073886602_nI created the Centenary Martini as a gift to the city that’s been so good to me.

Is it possible to distill the essence of a pl ace in a glass?

Martinis are the most romantic and thoughtful of cocktails, so easy to make, yet mysterious with a touch of danger.

Canberra, I think, is an introvert dying to break free, so perhaps it needs a lit tle encour agement in the form of the Martini.

In Frank Moorehouse’s book, ‘Martini – A Memoir’, he suggested that certain pl aces are Martini cities. I think Canberra is one… a place for conversation, intimate connections, and an emerging modern sophistication.

IMG_0731In the Northside version of the Centini, you’ll get a drier yet generous flavours and I took my starting point the warm, golden hills in summer, the outdoors, and driving along seeing the country that surrounds and shapes us.

The Southside is warmer and more rounded, but not less satisfying… think red tape, Parliament, lobbying, just the cocktail to get a deal done with some gentle persuasion.

The cocktail, with its all-Australian premium ingredients, also reflects our fine Federation and talented craftsmanship. Local olives and back yard lemons, plus ice using water from the Snowy River near Dalgety (once a possible location for the capital) rounded things out.

945394_457532980988596_1305501149_nMy thanks to everyone who’s been part of this project, from Peter Minson who made the wonderful Martini glasses & mixer set which was auctioned for charity, West Winds Gin from Western Australia, Maidenii Vermouth from Melbourne (once the capital before Canberra)

Also Goosebumps for the logo and recipe card, the Canberra Martini-philes who helped refine the mix, National Press Club for hosting the debut soirée, the Sass & Tease Collective for adding the glamour of their performance to the debut soirée.

Finally Dr Robyn Archer and the Centenary of Canberra team who got right behind the idea and let the world know about it, and Dr Chris Bourke MLA for representing the Chief Minister of the ACT Government.


You can download this PDF (Centini_A4_06) with has the recipes, the backstory, plus the facets that make for a great Martini experience in my opinion.

Reviews and Media

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