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Bar-Room Blitz: SAS Martini Lounge

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Walking into SAS Martini Lounge (formerly known as Sauer Apple Saloon), I thought asking a bartender to make their favorite drink would result in an exotic martini. I sat at the end of the bar and asked the bartender what her favorite drink to make was. Celiana (probably grossly misspelled) replied "Gin and tonic." I should have figured so much. At a neighborhood pub or sports bar, bartenders probably tire of making the same one-liquor-and-a-mixer drink quickly and relish the chance to dream up a new intoxicating brew. At a bar like SAS, however, the exotic mixing of spirits is the norm, and Celiana loves when customers just want something simple.

In the spirit of this blog (combined with a mild masochistic streak), I asked her what her least favorite drink to make was. "Mojitos," she replied with no hesitation. "I can't stand muddling all those limes." With a wry smile on my face, I asked her to make me a mojito. I half expected her to scowl or accidentally dump the nearest drink into my lap, but she smiled and walked to the opposite end of the bar.

A couple of minutes later, after she'd carefully muddled the limes and

mint into a pint glass, she slid a picture-perfect mojito to me. "Let

me know what you think of it." I took a sip and immediately responded,

"It's amazing." As a bit of a mojito connoisseur, I've tasted a few

hundred of the minty lime drinks. More often than not, I'm disappointed

by the mixture. They're often far too sweet or completely lacking the

minty aftertaste. Celiana's mojito has a perfect combination of sugar

and lime. Tart enough to pucker your cheeks and following with a mild

mint aftertaste, I asked again why she hated making them so much.

"Because any time I make one, I always end up having to make three or

four more." She was right. After finishing my first, I ordered a second

closely followed by a third. I accompanied each order with a

half-hearted apology but explained how rare it was to find a drink so

well-crafted.

SAS Martini Lounge is located at 1814 Harrison St. in Hollywood. Call

954-929-0755, or visit myspace.com/sasmartiniloungehollywood.

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