The martini is is one of the most well-known, if not the most well-known, mixed drinks out there. But it’s evolved into so much more than just gin and vermouth and a few olives, with modern mixologists putting their creative spin on tradition in order to deliver the public a multitude of tantalizing variations. Of course, there are times when an old classic just can’t be beat. However you take your martini, here are the Top 5 places around the Valley to sip and be seen sipping.
Blue Martini lounge is for those who like a little entertainment to go along with their drinks. Sit back, relax and watch the live band, the Instant Classics, perform hits from now and decades past (on Monday evenings, karaoke fans can even try their best to sing along with the band), or get up out of your seat to dance in front of the stage with the rest of the shimmying and shaking crowd. The place’s list of specialty martinis is long, with names like Espresso Martini, Masterpiece Bleu, 007, Mochaccino, Grape Bomb, Cookies and Cream, Goose O Cosmo, Skinny Bitch, Mango Madness, the signature Blue Martini, of course, and many, many more.
Blue Martini is located at CityNorth at 5455 E. High Street, Suite 101, in Phoenix 480.638.BLUE
The FEZ environment is very modern and urban, serving a full menu of American-Mediterranean cuisine in the heart of central Phoenix. In addition to the dining room, there’s also a bar, lounge area and outdoor patio, so you can take your martini wherever the mood suits you. The list of signatures includes Pom-tinis, Mojo-tinis, Almond-tinis, Pina-tinis … are you getting the idea yet? … as well as the FEZ-tini, the ever-interesting Moroccan Manhattan, Banana Split, Dark Chocolate and others. Better skip dessert and just try one more cocktail instead, what do you say? (P.S. The Rocks Margaritas here are not to be missed if you’re into that sort of thing.)
FEZ is located at 3815 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix 602.287.8700
If you like a room with a view, then you’ll love this bar. Located at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and overlooking the Valley, Jade Bar can offer you and your companion a nearly bird’s eye view of the sunset as you swirl and sip an Uva Bella, Sugar Snap Southside, Jaded Pear or Vanilla Violet Collins. The mixologists here are first-rate, and we’re pretty sure that whatever kind of martini you can dream up, they can make. So go ahead and ask for something special.
Jade Bar is located at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort at 5700 E. McDonald Drive in Paradise Valley 480.948.2100.
Thanks to its nondescript exterior, dimly lit interior and ultra-sophisticated decor and vibe, MercBar is a favorite hangout for the Phoenix elite crowd, such as the city’s professional athletes, major play22ers and socialites. The cocktails and martinis here are nothing short of excellent, somewhat calculated but still often containing an element of surprise. The Mr. Moonlight and Blackbird are favorites, and we’re not sure it gets any sexier than a Sexy Sadie, made with Grey Goose Poire vodka, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, pear puree and Mathilde blackcurrant liqueur.
MercBar is located at 2525 E. Camelback Road in Phoenix 602.508.9449
The quirky art on the walls will catch your eye, but the food and drinks will keep your attention. At AZ/88, they are dearly devoted to the art of martini making; they’ve even written an ode to the drink on their page online describing it as a work of beauty. And we’ve got good news for you, their generously sized drinks taste even better than they look. If you can, snag a table on the patio, which overlooks the Civic Center Mall area (great people-watching spot) and send your friend inside to the bar for your drinks. The Pineapple Martini is beautiful, the Summer Solstice Martini is piquant and the Caramel Apple Martini is like autumn in a glass. Also, you can’t go wrong with a classic here; the Grey Goose dirty martini with bleu cheese-stuffed olives is perfection.
AZ/88 is located at 7353 Scottsdale Mall in Scottsdale 480.994.5576