February 2, 2012 | 8:46am
Shaken, stirred, dirty, doused in fruit juices, and outfitted with spiffy window dressing, there are endless ways to get a martini -- or at least a cocktail going by the name -- in South Florida. Clean Plate Charlie takes a look at some of the best in Broward and Palm Beach offerings. These are some of the finalists for the anticipated (and sometimes debated) Best Of issue debuting in June. As usual, let us know what we missed in the comments.
Timpano Chophouse and Martini Bar
There are more than 20 specialty martinis on the menu at this power-lunch destination, from the simple Lemon Drop (Grey Goose Citrus and Banfi Limoncello) to more involved concoctions like the Red Razz Royale (Bacardi Razz, Red Bull, raspberries, and sparkling wine). The Lychee B and Big City Cosmopolitan are other popular choices, but you can also go the traditional route and order a plain ol' 'tini without any of the added garnishes or fixins.
Matty's on the Drive
The grape martini at this popular Wilton Manors bar snagged the New Times award for Best Specialty Drink in 2010, in part for the reported curative properties of the Welch's grape juice used in the mix. This is the signature drink at Matty's, where clubhoppers line up to fortify themselves with the bargain-priced beverage before heading back to burn off the calories on the dance floor or at the Wii.
Can't let go of the days when every sexy woman in the club was tottering around on her spiked heels with a pinkish-hued cocktail sloshing to the edges of her martini glass? This swanky chain has dozens of specialty martinis with such Carrie Bradshaw-reminiscent choices as the Cosmopolitan and the aptly named Sex and the City (vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry, and pineapple juice). The best bet is the blue agave martini, a potent mix of Herradura Silver tequila, blue curaçao, agave nectar, and grapefruit juice.
This Himmarshee hot spot has brought a Miami nightclub staple to the Broward crowd with the sugary-sweet lychee martini. The lychee (pronounced lee-chee) concoction tastes a bit like sweetened pears with a spear of fruit to garnish the cocktail. If savory is more your style, there's also a dirty martini with bacon-wrapped, blue-cheese-stuffed olives to wet your whistle and stick to the ribs. Signature martinis cost $10 to $12.
You can go shockingly sweet with specialty "martinis" like the Twizzler (served with a Twizzler straw, naturally) or the Snickerdoodle. Or stick to the menu of signature 'tinis, where you'll find icons like the no-frills James Bond (do you even need to ask how it's prepared?) and the George Clooney, a real man's drink with vodka, dry vermouth, and a "splash" of dirty martini mix, dressed with three olives. Most martinis cost $12 to $14.
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