Whether you prefer your martinis shaken like James Bond or maybe a little neater, Winston-Salem has no shortage of these chilled concoctions.
This classic cocktail dates all the way back to 1887, and during that time, the drink made its first appearance in the manual of bartender Jerry Thomas. Thomas served at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco at the time.
Since then, the martini has grown in popularity and variety. From the decadent chocolate martini to the sweet and sour lemon drop, the drink is very versatile to about any taste. While the traditional martini is a gin drink, the vodka version has quickly become a martini staple.
Plan for a night on the town with a responsible ride home and try some of these out for yourself.
321 W. Fourth St. / 336-448-1714
This downtown restaurant uses fresh ingredients, including freshly-squeezed juices, in all their hand-crafted libations. They offer seven different types of martinis; The Jeffrey Adams is their signature cocktail and features Maker’s Mark, Grand Marnier, figs, brown sugar, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and orange bitters. Their menu offers the following:
Dry: Rosemary Gin Fresh and White Cosmo
Sweet: Cranberry Margarita, The Jeffrey Adams, Kena Cosmo, and S’more Tini
In the middle: Apple Cider Daiquiri
6th & Vine
209 W. Sixth St. / 336-725-5577
Just celebrating their 15th anniversary, it’s no surprise this restaurant is a hit among locals for both wine and martinis. There are currently four martinis on the 6th & Vine cocktail menu, and the Dirty South is my personal favorite in Winston-Salem. It’s a twist on a dirty martini and includes Tito’s Handmade Vodka, pepperoncini brine, and pimento-stuffed olives. Here’s what else they have:
Dry: Dirty South and Cucumber Gimlet
Sweet: Coconut Macaroon Martini
In the middle: Mayberry Mule
Tate’s Craft Cocktails
279 W. Fourth St. / 336-245-8388
Since it features ‘cocktails’ in the name, of course Tate’s has some diverse martini options. A few of the more popular martini selections are Tate’s Gimlet and Emerald City Julep, both of which are included in the hot spot’s list of signature drinks. The gimlet includes Hendrick’s Gin, St. Germain, lime juice, and is garnished with a cucumber. Here’s a look at a few fan faves:
Dry: Tate’s Gimlet and Pink Lady
Sweet: Fig Manhattan and Emerald City Julep
Bleu Restaurant & Bar
3425 Frontis St. / 336-760-2026
This restaurant near Hanes Mall has the biggest selection of martinis on their drink menu and features 16 different options. Their two namesake martinis — Classic Bleu Jewel and Carolina Bleu — are among their most popular choices. The Classic Bleu Jewel features Bombay Sapphire gin, dry vermouth, and blue cheese stuffed olives, while the Carolina Bleu includes Absolut Vodka, blue curacao, and lime juice with an orange twist.
Dry: Classic Bleu Jewel
Sweet: Carolina Bleu, Liquid Sunshine, Lemonhead, Pomegranate, Very Cosmopolitan, South of Manhattan, Girl Scout, Raspberry Truffle, Tiramisu-Tini, Key Lime, Bananas Foster, and Chocolatini
In the middle: Strawberry Lemonade, Watermelon Cosmopolitan, and Appletini
River Birch Lodge
3324 Robinhood Road / 336-768-1111
Located off Robinhood Road, this upscale restaurant offers some unique martinis. They have four currently on their menu, and Winston-Salem resident and co-owner of Triad Moms on Main, Rachel Hoeing, swears by their Lavender Martini. The drink includes Stoli Vanil and St. Germain combined with their house-made lavender-blueberry syrup.
Sweet: Lavender Martini, Pomegranate Martini, RBL Martini, and White
221 Reynolda Village / 336-748-0221
2000 Griffith Road / 336-760-8686
With two locations, this restaurant is convenient to all residents. Offering many classics and unique options, Village Tavern has six staple martinis on their menu but Siobhan O’Brien Olson, Winston-Salem resident and CEO of Feisty PR, highly recommends their Old Cuban Mojito Martini. This cocktail includes Bacardí Ocho rum, sweetened mint, lime, angostura bitters, and La Marca Prosecco.
Dry: Classic Martini
Sweet: Old Cuban Mojito Martini, Triple Berry Cosmo, Cherry Chiller, Lemon Drop, and Chocolate Martini
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill
1215 Creekshire Way / 336-659-3973
In addition to their signature martini — the Double Black Diamond — Firebirds is also known for their Manhattan My Way and Dirty Bird martinis. The Double Black Diamond is an infusion of fresh pineapple and New Amsterdam Pineapple Vodka, garnished with a juicy pineapple slice.
Dry: Dirty Bird
Sweet: Double Black Diamond
In the middle: Manhattan My Way