Cocktails & Spirits

National Martini Day: Make a Pomegranate Martini with Bartender Chelsea Bressler of Blue Martini

National Martini Day is this Friday, June19. From James Bond’s “shaken not stirred” motto to Sex and the City cosmos, the martini has a classy place both in pop culture and in bars nationwide. 

The history of the martini is a bit murky — much like one's memory after a night of drinking them.

One origin story says the martini was invented during the mid-1800s Gold Rush in Martinez, California when a gold miner walked into a bar and ordered a glass of Champagne. When his order was rejected due to the lack of said beverage, the bartender created a drink from gin, maraschino liqueur, vermouth, bitters and a slice of lemon. This created “The Martinez Special”, which the miner loved so much, he ordered it again in San Francisco, reciting the ingredients to the bartender there.

Other theories claim that the drink was first invented in San Francisco while others state it came to be in New York’s Knickerbocker Hotel. There are even thought to be international origins: some declare the drink was named after “Martini & Rossi” vermouth, which was created in Italy in the mid-1800s.

Whatever the origin, just be happy someone created a drink as timeless as the martini.

To celebrate this day, Fort Lauderdale Blue Martini bartender Chelsea Bressler gives a recipe for the Pomegranate Martini and reveals why the martini is better than any other drink. 
New Times: Why is a martini better than other drinks?
Bressler: Martinis, in my opinion, are better than other drinks, because they are sophisticated and classic.

What specials are you guys offering for national martini day?
We will be serving complimentary martini samples at our Friday Martini Tasting for National Martini Day between 5 to 8 p.m. We will have select Discounted Martinis all night. And of course, Blue Martini Friday Happy Hour will be in full effect, where all of our martinis are half off until 8 p.m.

What specialty martinis do you guys have on a regular basis?
We serve over 42 superior martinis. A few crowd favorites are the Cosmopolitan, the Bellini and the Green Apple. The full Specialty Martini menu can be found at At Blue Martini, we use fresh juices and homemade simple syrup, which help to create healthier and more delicious cocktails and martinis. We currently have a “Fresh Menu” that includes fresh versions of our most popular martinis.

How would you describe your style as a bartender?

I would describe myself as outgoing and charismatic. I credit my bartending skills to a great memory. I may not always remember a guests name, but I always remember their drink. I have been bartending and working in the service industry since I moved to South Florida in 2006. I love snow birds and guests visiting from other places. It is truly a fun work environment where I get to work and meet people from around the country, and show guests a great Blue Martini Fort Lauderdale experience.

What is Blue Martini's most popular martini?
Our “Blue Martini” is definitely one of our most popular martinis. The Mojito is a close second.

Do you ever create your own recipes and if so, how do you do it?
Yes. Sometimes when a guest asks for something currently we do not serve on the menu, which is nearly impossible, I ask them what flavors they are looking for, and make something based upon their request. Or if a liquor company comes out with a new liquor, I like to try it out with a few difference mixers and juices to see what flavors I can come up with. My friends are usually my guinea pigs. We also have martini tastings every Friday between 5 and 8 p.m. where guests can try a different martini sample every week.

What is your favorite martini?
When I go out on the town, I like to order a good dirty martini, extra dirty with blue cheese stuffed olives.

Recipe for The Pomegranate Martini

  • 2 oz Finlandia (or you preferred brand) Grapefruit Vodka
  • 1 oz Pomegranate Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • Splash of Cranberry and Club Soda
  • Pomegranate Sugar Rimmed Glass
Pour the vodka, Cointreau, and pomegranate liqueur into a cocktail shaker over ice. Cover, and shake until the outside of the shaker has frosted. Strain into a sugar rimmed martini glass and add a splash of cranberry juice and club soda. Enjoy!
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Natalya Jones