The Mermaid Inn, NYC 4.5/5

This is one of my favourite places in the world.

Oyster happy hour is a must! 

I’ve previously mentioned how well seafood goes with a martini, especially the simplistically delicate oyster, so a bar/restaurant that specialises in briny goodness was always going to get me excited.


However, I’ve got to focus on the martini and not get too ahead of myself.

Using my martini rating scale I award this bar and restaurant very high points: 4.5 out of 5.

I ordered a hot and dirty martini (vodka, olive brine, Tabasco sauce with a crunchy, fresh and bright red peppadew garnish). It was ice cold, salty and fiery – a perfect tongue-tantalising aperitif.

The service was fast, attentive and the staff were passionate about the food and drinks.

The setting was intimate, clean and unpretentious.

And finally, the food is fantastic with a wide variety of seasonal oysters as well as a range of sustainably sourced seafood. It’s ideal for a light bite or a more substantial meal.

The only thing I would recommend to the Mermaid Inn is that the management make more of their martinis on the menu. The restaurant does them so well I think they should promote them more prominently. I really can’t fault them in any other way.

Basically to sum up my experience, If I died suddenly and my life flashed before my eyes I hope I would linger here for just a little while en route to the next level. And I hope the next level has oyster happy hour too.


Don’t forget to download their useful app Oysterpedia


Most of the time I garnish my martinis with a very simple piece of lemon peel.

When I make the drink I take a strip of lemon peel and squeeze it over the glass so as to spray it with fresh lemon oil. After I have squeezed the peel I quickly trim it for presentation and drop it in the drink as a simple garnish
If you don’t keep it simple it will end up taking precious time. This can put your martini at serious risk of warming up.

Nonetheless, sometimes you can mix it up a bit, especially if you create the garnish in advance.


You can cut out some lemon peel, scrape off the pith and twist it into a shape. I then put it in the freezer to keep in shape until drink o’clock.

You saw this one here first. My dollar sign martini garnish TM.

The garnish doesn’t have to be lemon.

I’m sure there are a million possibilities. Like this octopus tentacle from an earlier martini I made.

Or you could try a thin apple-slice garnish for an apple martini

Or jam on toast for a breakfast martini

This simple nasturtium flower is one of the easiest garnishes I’ve ever used.

The garnish doesn’t need to be edible.

Or it can be completely edible. This is from the Raita martini I made to go with a curry.

Olives are classic and conventional.

They’re also very tasty.

But you don’t need to be classic and conventional all the time.

Lemon foam is slightly more modern (this one was added to an Earl Grey Martini I made earlier).

But you could use something that grows in your garden that’s been consumed by civilised humans since time immemorial. The Rosemary Martini.

It could be something caught on a fishing trip.

It could be sweet.

It could be sour.

It could be subtle.

Or it could be exuberant

But however you garnish your martini, the drink itself has to be good.

Remember that the full instructions on how to make a martini are located here.