Five dollar martini’s are alive and well, at least for one day. On June 19th, National Martini Day, you can get yours shaken, stirred, on the rocks or straight up for $5 at many Chicago watering holes.
From movies, to politics, to literature, martinis play a role in our society. The typical martini served at the three martini lunch during the Mad Men era was made with vodka, a splash of vermouth and blue cheese olives—or a twist of lemon.
Before then, gin was the preferred hooch with Ernest Hemingway favoring the “Montgomery” a concoction of 15 parts gin to 1 part vermouth (the drink Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery ordered before going into battle).
Lyndon B. Johnson liked an in-and-out martini--a glass filled with vermouth, then dumped out and filled with gin. James Bond was a proponent of the "shaken, not stirred” method—believing that it chilled better.
It has been said, that the Queen Mother of England, who lived to be something like 102, liked her martinis with gin--drinking them religiously--or at least daily.
According to Major Colin Burgess who worked as a personal attendant to the Queen Mum, and authored the book, “Behind Palace Doors,” at 6 p.m. every day, she would ask, “’Colin, are we at the magic hour?’ and he would respond, ‘Yes, ma’am, I think it’s just about time,’ before popping off to mix her a martini.”
Whether you like yours with vodka or gin (and who's to say you can't have both together), dirty or clear--here are some suggestions for your martini portfolio:
The Spice & Ice Martini
Barbakoa's is offering their Spice & Ice Martini with a mix of jalapeno-infused vodka, mango, and ginger-habanero syrup, topped with a spiced rim for $5 for Martini Day on June 19th.
14 and counting
Carlucci (1801 Butterfield Rd., Downers Grove) is offering $5 martinis for every martini listed on their drink menu which adds up to 14, including Chocolate Martinis, Cosmopolitans, and fun summer flavors like Pomegranate and Mango.
Community Tavern (4038 N Milwaukee Ave.), a new boutique steakhouse, is offering their specialty house martini: the Martinez, Revisited! in honor of Martini Day...but this one's going to cost you. It's $12--but I've been told that it is worth it. The martini is a mix of Liberator Old Tom Gin, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Cocchi Rosa, Luxardo Cherry Liqueur, and a Maraschino Cherry.
Koi (624 Davis St., Evanston) is offering a $5 Lychee Martini for National Martini Day. Succulent and sweet lychees, the fresh picked Chinese fruit regional to Southeast Asia, puts a new twist on an old favorite.
A $5 martini night is held every Wednesday at the Blue Line Lounge & Grill, under the Damen Blue Line CTA “L” stop, in the Bucktown/Damen neighborhoods. All 32 Specialty Martinis and Absolut Martinis are $5 each, every Wednesday--and the "L" is just up the stairs, in case you overindulge.
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