Best Martini: Sapphire

Best Martini Runners Up: Baker Peters Steak Mansion & Jazz Club, Bistro By the Tracks, Copper Cellar

Downtown is more of a haven for beer-drinkers, but at Sapphire on Gay Street, a martini feels like the appropriate thing to order. For the purists out there, a martini consists of gin, vermouth, and an olive, and Sapphire plays this standard well. But in a Sex and the City 2 world, glassware defines the drink, and so whatever cocktail poured into a martini glass becomes a martini, too. Sapphire has plenty of those to try—notables are the creamy Strawberry Chocolate Martini, the refreshing and crisp Blu Martini, and the coconut-infused Almond Joy—with a list continually changing to keep pace with cities like New York, London, and Tokyo, says owner Aaron Thompson. If you’re hesitant to step into this unfamiliar world, a great time to try some of these concoctions is Wednesday, when $5 martinis are served all evening and you can run the gamut of flavors while building a nice buzz. Just tell bartender and New York-native Chris Famularo what you like—he’ll take care of the rest.

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