Martini Black Book
I’m often asked for lists like this—so I’m starting out with my favorite martini spots, and the Negroni list is soon to follow. When I am not drinking Negronis I am drinking martinis. Like the Negroni it is a simple drink—minimal ingredients of the best quality, made with the most thoughtful of preparations. Like many bits of alchemy it can go terribly wrong; the gin can be too warm (I only drink gin martinis), the balance of the vermouth can be off (I like mine dry), the garnish too fussy (no lemon twists curled like fusilli), or the olives old and mushy (YUCK). But when it is done right, it is a heavenly drink—one with complexity and power. Like my book title suggests—perfection in a glass (check it out here). The martini is an adult drink, one that gets you out of the gate FAST with panache, elegance and flair. I am a sprinter not an endurance runner and the martini suits me for its speedy, intoxicating quality. Translation: you feel its heady effects quickly. You shouldn’t need many, so enjoying the best you can possible get your hands on is a must. Below is my list of favorites—everywhere from Bangkok to Upstate New York—where I have enjoyed a perfect martini prepared by the most talented of barkeepers. I’m sure I’ve missed a lot of your favorites, but I’d love to hear them, so please tell me in the comments!
Bar Hemingway, Ritz Paris, 1st arr.
Cravan, 16th arr.
Le Bar, Four Seasons Hotel George, 8th arr.
Ralph’s, 6th arr.
Harry’s Bar, 1st arr.
Bristol Bar, Le Bristol, 8th arr.
Bar Les Ambassadeurs, Le Crillon Hotel, 1st arr.
Le Bar Kleber, Peninsula Hotel, 8th arr.
Les Sources des Caudalie, outside Bordeaux