While I'm usually averse to food holidays, National Martini Day (June 19) seems like a good excuse to revisit a classic cocktail that's often overshadowed by more complicated concoctions.
If you're looking for the perfect spot to play James Bond today or have the eternal "shaken or stirred?" debate, these five bars will do the trick:
1. The Bombay Club: This old school martini bar is well worth a visit even for those less inclined towards wingback leather chairs and dark wood paneling. The meat and potato martini is an unusual offering, featuring potato vodka and an andouille sausage garnish.
2. V Sushi and Martini: A new addition to the French Quarter bar scene, V Sushi and Martini is one part restaurant, one part nightclub. The restaurant frequently offers two-for-one martini deals during their Friday happy hour, if you're hoping to double your pleasure.
3. The Swizzle Stick Bar: While the bar does solid work on classic dirty martinis, they also serve a version of the Vesper (gin, vodka, lillet blanc, and lemon) which was the drink of choice for James Bond in Casino Royale before his martini days.
4. Namese: Located at the corner of Tulane and Carrollton avenues, Namese puts an Asian spin on their martini concoctions, with the lemongrass martini a house favorite.
5. Commander's Palace: Of course, if you're looking for a day drinking option on the cheap, the 25-cent martini lunch (limit three!) at Commander's is your best bet.
If your reinvigorated love affair with the martini continues for a few months, the 11th annual Friends of City Park Martini Madness showcase is scheduled for September 19, featuring more than 30 different martini creations.