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2012 Time Out NY

2012 Time Out NY

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Published by Frank Caiafa
Best Martini Bars 2012 - Peacock Alley
Best Martini Bars 2012 - Peacock Alley

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Categories:Types, Reviews
Published by: Frank Caiafa on Jan 19, 2013
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New York
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Earl Grey MarTEAni at Pegu Club 
The best cocktail bars for amartini in New York City2012
The martini may be simple, but gin, vermouth and bitters is a timelesscombination. Read on to discover our favorite cocktail bars for a martini in New York.
By Laura Shunk
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The great 1920s satiristDorothy Parker once quipped, “I like to have a martini, two at the verymost; three, I’m under the table, four, I’m under my host!” We tend to agree that pacing is crucial inthe enjoyment of aproperly made cocktail—but if you’re working your way through our definitiveguide to the best martinis in New York, you might find it difficult to hold back. Our list featuresarchetypal and new-wave riffs on theclassic gin cocktail, at some of the city’s most celebratedbars. Did we miss your favorite martini in New York? Join the chatter in the comments.
Henry Public
Jazz emanates from the speakers at this neighborhood bar in Cobble Hill, where the menu pays homage to classiccocktails. The Henry’s Martini ($11) is made to exacting specifications: two parts Old Tom gin and one part vermouth, splitbetween Dolin blanc and Dolin dry. Stirred with a dash of orange bitters and garnished with a lemon twist, the drink issmooth, voluptuous and refined; a shining example of exactly what this timeless nip should be.329 Henry St, (between Atlantic Ave andPacific St)
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Hotel Delmano
Martinis are packaged for groups at this buzzy Williamsburg lounge: equal parts Perry’s Tot Navy Strength gin and Dolindry vermouth are combined in a bottle ($49) and chilled; the mixture is delivered to tables with rocks glasses (coupes areavailable upon request) and a plate of olives and lemon twists. If you’re flying solo—or if your fellow drinkers don’t favor gin—you can order the same drink as a single serving.82 Berry St, (at North 9th St)
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The menu at this
favorite changes frequently, and while the list often features a stirred gin drink, martini lovers arebetter off asking one of the bartenders to dig into their repertoire and mix up something unique. Consider the off-menuTuxedo Number Three ($11), built on the classic martini blueprint of peppery Beefeater, Dolin dry vermouth and orangebitters. Atouch of absinthe and bitter maraschino liqueur tease out the gin’s herbal notes, and instead of a twist, abrandied cherry garnishes the silky drink.177 South 4th St, (between Driggs Aveand Roebling St)
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Employees Only
Bartenders wear chef coats at this iconic West Village saloon, and they season their version of the classic martini witharomatics more commonly seen in the kitchen than behind the bar. The Provençale ($13.78) features lavender-infusedPlymouth gin, dry vermouth steeped with herbs de Provence and a splash of the bittersweet orange liqueur Cointreau—afloral combination that’s equal parts savory, spicy and sweet.510 Hudson St, (between Christopher and W 10th Sts)
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Fort Defiance
Owner St. John Frizell credits London bartender Salvatore Calabrese for giving the Breakfast Martini ($10) at FortDefiance its brunch-appropriate makeover. An opaque blend of Beefeater gin, Cointreau, lemon-and-orange marmalade,the cocktail is as tart, refreshing and citrusy as a cold glass of orange juice.365 Van Brunt St, (at Dikeman St)
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Death & Company
You’ll find a number of dead-on martini-inspired concoctions on the menu at this East Village cocktail lair. Our current
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favorite is the Joy Division ($13), which preserves the spirit of the classic while adapting it just enough to feel fresh.Served in an ice-cold coupe, the luxuriously soft tipple blends Old Tom gin, Dolin dry vermouth and Cointreau with a hit of absinthe that both enhances the gin’s peppery notes and softens the spirit’s sharp bite.433 E 6th St, (between First Ave and Ave A)
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Saxon + Parole
This Bowery meatery offers a dry-martini service ($15) created especially for cocktail zealots concerned with keeping their tipples cold. Asmall, sparkling glass of Plymouth gin and Dolin dry vermouth arrives at your table with a refresher carafekept on ice, so that the second half of your drink is as chilly as the first. The bar also gives you the luxury of choosing your own garnish, sending out a plate of accoutrements that includes a lemon twist, an olive and an onion.316 Bowery, (at Bleecker St)
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Gin Palace
This shrine to gin fittingly pays its respects to the most iconic of the spirit’s drinks, offering four different versions of themartini. The classic nets you a two-to-one ratio of Beefeater (or your gin of choice) to Dolin dry vermouth. The dry versionslashes the vermouth by half, and the extra-dry martini uses just a splash of the fortified wine. History buffs might optinstead for the Martinez; the rich blend of Old Tom gin, sweet and dry vermouths, Combier triple sec and orange bitters isthe boozy ancestor of the drink we know now as a martini.95 Ave A, (at 6th St)
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Peacock Alley
Order a martini in most hotel bars, and you’ll get three ounces of vodka or gin, shaken and poured in an up glass. Not atthe Peacock Alley at the Waldorf-Astoria. Bartenders at this elegant lounge can stir a textbook-perfect martini ($18), an ice-cold and silky combination of Old Tom gin and Noilly Prat dry vermouth, garnished with your choice of twist or blue-cheese–stuffed olives. Or order the bar’s version of the Martinez ($18), which suffuses Old Tom gin and sweet and dryvermouths with a splash of maraschino liqueur.301 Park Ave, (between 49th and 50th Sts)
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Pegu Club
Cocktail maven Audrey Saunders dreamed up the Earl Grey MarTEAni ($13) as an ode to Empire pleasures both genteel(afternoon tea) and bawdy (gin drinking). Inspired by a pisco sour and a Victorian recipe for “egg tea,” which replaced milkwith egg white, Saunders combined the two ideas into one drink. She first infuses juniper-heavy Tanqueray gin withloose-leaf Earl Grey from In Pursuit of Tea. She shakes the tannic tincture with lemon juice and an egg white, resulting ina frothy Arnold Palmer–like concoction, laced with the tea’s fragrant bergamot. In a nod to teatime accoutrements, thebalanced sipper is garnished with a lemon peel and a sparkling half rim of sugar.77 W Houston St, (between WestBroadway and Wooster St)
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