There is nothing worse than sipping a bad martini (as if dishing out $12 to pay for it isn’t hard enough to swallow.) When it comes to the most masterfully crafted of all cocktails (i.e. the martini), it need be tasty, inventive and should not, under any circumstances, leave a sour taste in your mouth. Here are the top 3 martini lounges in the city, in no particular order, along with their best martinis:
Jello Martini Lounge (151 Ontario E)
Although Jello Martini Lounge (formerly called Jello Bar) has been revamped and refurbished, it still screams retro-chic. Its signature lava lamps continue to ooze a 60s-inspired ambiance, while its live music, ranging from R&B to funk bands, has the crowd grooving all night long. Jello Martini Lounge has one of the most relaxed atmospheres in town which reflects the laidback attitude of Montrealers.
Best Martini: Jello Martini (Calvados and Finlandia Mango Fushion Vodka)
The Jello Martini, brightly coloured and highly addictive, is a microcosm of the lounge itself. You can also indulge in other tropical concoctions like the Cocorico.
L’Assommoir (112 Bernard W)
Though l’Assommoir is categorized as a restaurant, a live DJ and an infinite selection of cocktails make it a little more loungey in nature. High, long wooden tables, dark chocolate-coloured chairs and dim lighting give it a comfy, rustic feel. Since ordering food is a must here, savour some tapas such as the plantain chips or the salmon bites marinated in maple.
Best Martini: Cucumbertini (Vodka, cucumber, apple juice and Angostura bitters)
Yes, the Cucumbertini is ridiculously refreshing, but please, don’t stop there. Delight in a variety of other food-inspired martinis such as the Basiltini or the Neon Watermelon.
Baldwin Barmacie (115 Laurier W)
A trip to Baldwin Barmacie is just what the doctor should prescribe. A wonderland of white walls and bar stools send you into a detox state of mind, while the masterminds behind the Barmacie counter paradoxically dream up concoctions that keep you coming back for more. No matter what day of the week, the crowds swarm in. No cover charge and $8 martinis make it a one stop shop even for Dr. Feelgood.
Best Martini: Cosmo (typically Vodka, cranberry juice, Cointreau and lime juice, but the secret lies within the “Barmacists”)
It seems like a no-brainer of a drink. However, finding a decent Cosmo in the city is about as hard as finding a patch of living green grass amid the mountains of snow in the dead of Montreal’s winter. At Baldwin’s Barmacie, they’ve got the dosage just right. Cocktails, mixed in cough medicine-like bottles, also come with fancy names such as the Pharmacien. Sip these with a side of Baldwin’s signature grilled cheese, and you’re sure to keep the doctor away (at least for a while…)