The Vaultini was the signature cocktail of The Vaults – a Cambridge cocktail bar I worked in early in my career.  Hence the name.  Vaults’ Martini.  Vaultini.  It existed long before I got there and as such I have no idea who first created it, making it a House Cocktail.  But as the bar has long since gone out of business, I see no reason not to share it with the world.

It is a surprisingly good Neo-Martini when made with quality ingredients.  When I knew it it was on a two-for-one menu made with the cheapest possible ingredients so wasn’t so great.  But it still managed to be the favourite cocktail of one of my housemates at the time.

As are all good Neo-Martinis, it is light, fruity and eminently approachable.  And if properly made and reintroduced, you can expect it to be popular.


The Vaultini has five ingredients.  Since none of these are fresh fruit, puree or otherwise particularly thick, you could stir it if you wanted.  But unless you’re making large quantities it is always faster and more efficient to shake.

Vaultini Taste Profile

Vaultini Flavour Map

Start with gin.  Any good quality London Dry Gin is sufficient.  As usual you need a gin that is good enough and bold enough to stand up to the other ingredients.  But at the same time the extra quality of a premium gin would be wasted here.

Just one liqueur is used – apricot brandy.  Using a high quality one makes a big difference to the end product.  The other main fruit flavour is provided by passion fruit syrup.  However, it is likely that this was only used to drop costs.  So if you want to use a passion fruit liqueur like Passoa, it would work too.

Whichever you choose to use, the juice of half a lemon is needed to cut through the sweetness of your fruit flavoured ingredients.



Finally, apple juice provides the cocktail’s length.  Back in the day we used regular apple juice, as in the photo.  But if making a high quality version, cloudy apple juice would probably be better.


For the syrup based, shaken version, to your Boston glass add: one and a third shots or ~35ml gin; two thirds of a shot or ~15ml apricot brandy; 10ml passion fruit syrup; the juice of half a lemon; and one shot of apple juice.

If, however, you want to use Passoa then you’ll need to adjust your quantities slightly.  So, to your Boston glass add: one shot gin; half a shot apricot brandy; half a shot Passoa; the juice of half a lemon; and one shot of apple juice.

Either way, shake it up, then serve straight up, garnished with either a lemon twist or a segment of passion fruit.

I should point out that this mix of flavours does work very nicely together.  As such it could quite easily be converted into a Tall and Fruity style drink.  Or alternatively, you could make it by the jug for a house party type event.  In this case, however, I do recommend using passion fruit syrup regardless of whether you use Passoa or not.  It helps maintain the correct balance as you lengthen the drink.