Whether you like them shaken or stirred, martinis have stood the test of time as a classic cocktail. So much so, that the drink has an entire day marked in its honor: June 19. A traditional martini contains just gin, vermouth and an olive or lemon twist garnish – although variations abound. Celebrate National Martini Day by checking out these martini bars in the Big Apple. By Adrienne Smith.
77 W Houston St
New York, NY 10012
This Soho cocktail bar, from Audrey Saunders and the owners of Flatiron Lounge and Zinc Bar, serves up classy cocktails in a sleek, Brit-inspired lounge. Bring a date to this upstairs bar for the infused Earl Grey MarTEAni. Earl Grey tea-infused gin is mixed with sugar, lemon juice and frothed egg whites. The result is a deliciously smooth take on a martini, with subtle kicks of lemon.
110 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002
Verlaine is all about quality cocktails for a bargain. The Lower East Side, Asian-inspired cocktail bar offers happy hour from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. every night of the week. Verlaine’s lychee martini – just $6 during happy hour – is a mix of vodka, the Asian fruit lychee and a dash of pineapple juice.
281 Lafayette St
New York, NY 10012
Pravda is part Russian caviar bar and part French bistro. And, surprisingly, the mix works. This Soho bar serves over 70 vodkas, including a variety of house-infused vodkas. While a classic martini at Pravda is worth a trip on its own, The Oligarch martini is a must-try luxury (Grey Goose VX, Vermouth, Green Chartreuse & Caviar spoon). Meanwhile, the Caviar Martini includes cucumber-dill vodka and a generous dollop of caviar. What’s more, Pravda offers happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m.
56 Irving Pl
New York, NY 10003
Cibar is a martini bar tucked into the first floor of the Gramercy Park Townhouse Inn At Irving Place. The menu offers more than 20 types of martinis in a relaxed setting that’s big enough for a group. Snag a spot by the fireplace or the outdoor area, and order the Cucumber Martini with lemon and mint infused vodka, muddled cucumber and mint. Or swing by during happy hour and enjoy their Elderflower Lychee Martini for just $9.
Russian Vodka Room
265 W 52nd St
New York, NY 10019
Russian Vodka Room is an old-school Russian restaurant and bar in Midtown West. With live piano music and $5 martinis during happy hour (4 p.m.-7 p.m.), the bar is a solid after-work choice. Choose among five flavored vodkas for your happy hour martini: sour apple, peach, pomegranate, watermelon and raspberry. Or, try the Filthy Russian: vodka, olive juice and gorgonzola stuffed olives.
More: Best Vodka Bars In NYC
52 8th Ave
New York, NY 10014
This small West Village bar offers beer, wine, cocktails and food. But the martinis are the star of Art Bar’s menu. You’ll find dimmer lighting and soft couches in the back room for a decidedly relaxed experience. Order any of Art Bar’s rotating seasonal martinis – the Pumpkin Pie Martini, when available, is especially popular. Or, stick to the menu with a Butterscotch Martini (vanilla vodka, buttershots, & hazelnut liqueur) or classic martini.
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Adrienne Smith manages Lifestyle & Entertainment content for CBS Local. Follow her on Twitter here.