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Feb 1, 2007 03:52 PM

Best martinis in the World??

Come on people, help me out here. Where are the best (gin) martinis in the world?

So far my list includes:

1) Harry's Bar, Venice
2) Forelini's, NYC
3) The Princeton Club, NYC
4) The Graham Greene Martini; Hanoi, Vietnam, at the Metropole Hotel (I know, it's a bastard...but good)
5) The Hemingway Bar, The Ritz, Paris

Others? I'm writing a book about this and need some help!


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  1. The bar at the Duke's Hotel in London (off St. James Street) is quite famous for its martinis.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DavidT

      I believe Duke's is the location where the creator of James Bond decided to include a martini as Bond's staple, because the martini's there were supposed to be the best in the world (supposedly). I watched Follow that Food the other day on TV and they did a part on Duke's Hotel. Very interesting to watch the bartender there make a martini.

    2. Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa. The bartenders will make your drink, put it in front of you, and then use an eyedropper for the amount of vermouth you desire.

      5 Replies
      1. re: byrd

        So you think a good martini is a glass of gin? ok

        1. re: tamerlanenj

          personaly i like my martinis 4 to 1 ratio

          for those of you kids too young to remember, a classic martini is made from 2 ounces gin, or vodka, and a splash of dry vermouth. (These days, the word martini has been bastardized to include almost any concoction that is mixed in a shaker and strained into a martini glass.) The classic martini's dryness is defined by the amount of vermouth added. The less vermouth, the drier the drink. Serious martini drinkers are very specific about their desired degree of dryness. As a point of reference, "dry" equals approximately 1/4 ounce, "extra dry" constitutes a few drops, and when someone orders an "extra, extra dry" martini, they are essentially requesting gin or vodka straight from the bottle (just what most doctors prescribe for post-tax trauma).

          Bartenders and martini aficionados often attempted to outdo each other with novel approaches in their quest to serve up the "driest" concoction possible. Here are some of the most creative methods I have observed.

          Pour the gin or vodka in a shaker, then wave the vermouth bottle over the top (Winston Churchill made his martinis by pouring gin into a pitcher, then glancing briefly at a bottle of vermouth across the room).
          Fill a small perfume mister with vermouth and use it to spritz a fine mist.
          Take an empty martini glass, add a splash of vermouth. Swirl it around so that the walls of the glass are coated, then toss out the excess vermouth. Add chilled gin or vodka.
          and the winner is . . .

          Fill a shot glass with vermouth, down the shot, then breath heavily on the glass of chilled gin or vodka.

          1. re: byrd

            While these are entertaining(and by the way you missed a couple, like the bartender who whispers "vermouth" across the top of the glass of gin, or my dad's, who carries the bottle of gin past the closet where he keeps the vermouth, religiously, once a week) a true Martini coctail is made of equal parts dry gin and dry vermouth with a dash of orange bitters. While I don't drink it like that frequently, it is something to try for a point of reference. I usually make mine 4 to 1 with a small dash of orange bitters, usually made with Plymouth gin and Vya vermouth and some ancient deKuyper orange bitters from the 50's that I acquired a few years ago

            1. re: chazzerking

              Chazzerking, that's exactly my formula including brands (although without the ancient bitters...still using Fee Bros.). Quite the cocktail.

            2. re: byrd

              funny, you took this quote straight from my martini painting!

        2. You hit a couple of my favorites already (Harry's, Ritz Paris). I don't know if it would rate as world class, but I'd give Boston's best Martini to the Oak Bar at the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel, even though it would not rate as offering the city's best cocktails all-around.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            Great - I will try this one for sure. Thanks!


          2. What is your book on and what info are you covering in it? Who's your publisher? Just curious about when and where we might see it.

            1. I hate to be such a buzzkill, but really, what makes one of these martinis so much better than the rest? I mean, it's only two ingredients (unless you want the original martini, which contains bitters)!

              I am a former professional bartender and love a good martini, but come on, it ain't rocket science. A properly made martini is something that I don't see too often, but I can teach a bartender in 30 seconds how to do it right. I believe a lot of this "best" attitude comes from presentation. Maybe the question should be worded - "What are the best bars to drink a martini?" Now, we have a book to write.


              1 Reply
              1. re: UptownKevin


                Please see my reply below. I know it isn't rocket science, but you wouldn't believe how many bartenders shake them (shudder), stir them for too short a period of time (groan), do not use fresh cuts when I ask for a twist (sigh), or make it undrinkable with the amount of vermouth (gasp!). Even some of the best bars in the world still mess the drink up by screwing with the aforementioned...

                You're point about the presentation is right on too. See below.