Parmesan Foam, Fried Olives and Lemon Oils — The Best New-Age Martinis in Houston Now
GIN, VERMOUTH AND an olive — you’ve got yourself a martini, right? That used to be the case, but as The New York Times recently chronicled in a piece called The Martini Has Lost Its Mind, all bets are off when it comes to what goes in the classic drink, whether shaken or stirred. Read on for the Houston hotspots who are adding more than just a twist to the classic martini.
Turner’s takes a three-martini lunch to a whole new level. The Turner’s Martini ($18) is made with butter-washed vodka. The washing process involves letting butter sit in vodka at room temperature before freezing it and skimming the butter off. It’s as rich as Turner’s environment, and topped with blue cheese olives stuffed in house.
The secret to the martini at Montrose’s March ($24) is the vermouth: It’s crafted seasonally by the talented mixologists that work in the lounge. Sometimes it’s infused with Texas melon, and sometimes it’s an herbal combination of thyme, mint and sage. It’s added to three different gins, plus black lemon bitters, and served with a side of a fried olive.
Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse (photo by Lindsey Cooper Trevino)
This Wash Ave cocktail bar and pizza joint — which is opening a second location on Montrose near Richmond this fall — doesn’t just serve cheese on its pizza. The Parmesan Espresso Martini ($11) is topped with parmesan foam for a creamy and decadent texture.
Little's Oyster Bar
At this seafood-savvy Pappas family hotpsot on Shepherd, grapefruit bitters and chamomile licorice stock join Aviation gin and Dolin Blanc vermouth in the Golden Martini ($18). It’s served on a silver platter with a chilled second serving, because why not?
Julep (photo by Julie Soefer)
Alba Huerta adds a special wine to the Vesper Martini ($15) at Julep. Gin, vodka and lemon oil are shaken with Cocchi Americano — an aromatized wine created in 1891 and has been produced since according to the original recipe.
PS-21 (photo by John D. on Yelp)
Can’t decide? Head over to still-new PS-21 on Richmond, which offers a martini flight for $30. The flight includes a Gibson Botanist martini topped with the traditional pickled onion, a Citadelle martini with a twist and a dirty Tanqueray martini. Cheers!