GOTHAM - February 2012

The Martini Turns 100

By John Bobey

Excerpt:

With the resurgence of supper clubs and speakeasies like The Darby and 1920 Bunker Club, Art Deco ruling the runways, and the success of retro filmed-in-Manhattan series such as Mad Men, New Yorkers are feeling a certain vintage romanticism. “Our tag line at The Campbell Apartment is ‘Cocktails from Another Era,’ and when we opened the place that was our mandate,” says Mark Grossich, owner and CEO of Hospitality Holdings, which oversees the famed Grand Central establishment. “We wanted to bring back the classic cocktail lounge and the drinks associated with that. All of the mixology that has been going on over the past couple of years, with drinks having multiple ingredients, is certainly intriguing, but you can’t beat the classics.”

Yusef Austin, a Stoli Elit ambassador and creator of cocktail programs for such noted New York establishments as the Boom Boom Room, concurs. “Cocktail programs, which have been on the upswing for the last three or four years, are the latest development in terms of the classic martini. Today, you know that if a place has great food, the cocktail bar will be a complement to what is happening in the kitchen.”

Quality and simplicity are the keys to a good martini, and when it is done perfectly, New Yorkers show their appreciation. “In terms of cocktails at our bar, I would say it’s a 60-40 split of martinis to everything else,” says Pasquale Trunzo, beverage director for The Palm on West 50th Street. “We are known for the generous pours of our martinis, and in a nutshell, that’s what The Palm is all about: generosity, opulence, and a nice martini in your hand, in a place to see and be seen.” ...

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