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Bars That Don't Put Vermouth In Martinis


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#1 Stone

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 02:36 PM

1. Oak Room at the Plaza
2. Tao (Patron: It's not a martini without vermouth. Bartender: Sure, it depends how you make it.)
3. Lotus of Siam

(I'll think of the others.)

And she was.


#2 Suzanne F

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 03:00 PM

You are doing us all a great service. :)

Although it's unlikely I'd go to Tao or Lotus of Siam anyway. But still, thanks!

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#3 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 03:29 PM

Every Bar Except Serious Cocktail Bars
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#4 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 04:07 PM

OK, that's unduly snobby.

There ARE a few good bars (meaning good for drink quality -- places that are good for hanging out and having a beer are a whole different category) that aren't Serious Cocktail Bars.

But not a lot.

I think it would be easier to list Bars That DO Put Vermouth In Martinis. The number of bars that fit into the category as now written is nearly infinite.
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#5 Daisy

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 04:16 PM

Craftbar.

I disagree with Sneakeater about the serious cocktail bar thing. Places in NYC I have had good martinis with appropriate amounts of vermouth that do not fall into that category include but are not limited to Schillers, Red Cat, Trestle, Balthazar, Highlands, Gotham Bar and Grill,10 Downing,Odeon,Minetta Tavern,Aldea. I could go on...... And that's not including various bars in swanky hotels.
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#6 Nathan

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 05:13 PM

Obviously I agree that this is an issue.

However, I'll also note that a proper martini doesn't have olives (rather, orange bitters and maybe a lemon twist).

So the reality is that you'll only get a proper martini at SCBs...:)
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#7 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 05:25 PM

I disagree with Sneakeater about the serious cocktail bar thing. Places in NYC I have had good martinis with appropriate amounts of vermouth that do not fall into that category include but are not limited to Schillers, Red Cat, Trestle, Balthazar, Highlands, Gotham Bar and Grill,10 Downing,Odeon,Minetta Tavern,Aldea. I could go on...... And that's not including various bars in swanky hotels.


Our disagreement is mainly definitional, because I view most of those places as Serious Cocktail Bars (just ones in restaurants).

As for Swanky Hotel Bars, I find that now they're not as reliable as they used to be. (Probably, the great old bartenders are retiring or dying off.) I think that would be where this thread could be of most use: telling you which ones are good and which ones are bad. In my last visit to the King Cole Bar (which used to be great), I was appalled at the low level of craft. It's a pity, because like you, I always used to use those bars as correctives to claims that Serious Cocktail Bars were the only places to get good drinks.
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#8 Daisy

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 05:35 PM

Go see Norman at the Ritz Carlton on Central Park South. He's one of the last of that breed.
Sardines aren't for sissies.---Frank Bruni
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The mistake one makes is to react to what people post rather than to what they mean.---Dr. Johnson
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#9 rancho_gordo

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 06:12 PM

I was kind of shocked to find that most bars in Manhattan use vodka instead of gin as the standard. That seems like a typical California bastardization of a classic but it's the other way around.

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#10 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 06:23 PM

It's a fucking scandal is what it is.
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#11 SethG

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 06:33 PM

I was kind of shocked to find that most bars in Manhattan use vodka instead of gin as the standard. That seems like a typical California bastardization of a classic but it's the other way around.


What? Is this true?? I can't remember the last time I ordered a martini, but that is a disgrace.
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#12 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 06:44 PM

It's completely true.
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#13 Nathan

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:49 PM

It's completely true.



Its true everywhere. And not just in the U.S. You usually have to specify gin.
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#14 Daisy

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:51 PM

Asking for a martini at a place in St Barts, and I specified gin, got me a chilled glass of vermouth beautifully garnished with a long curl of lemon peel. I shut up and drank it.
Sardines aren't for sissies.---Frank Bruni
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The mistake one makes is to react to what people post rather than to what they mean.---Dr. Johnson
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I want to be the girl with the most cake.

#15 beans

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 03:32 AM

:rolleyes:

A breed that is dying off??? Old age/near retirement is a requirement for a proper cocktail?


FWIW, 90 percent of the customer ordering public roaming through watering holes are ordering chilled vodka, shaken, served up, sans vermouth as their standard "Martini."

That's okay. I grasp the concept of hospitality and accept their tip just the same as one that orders a gin and vermouth stirred bevie.

No judgment or drama necessary. :lol:

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