Shake, Stir, Sip

Whether it’s made with gin or vodka, dry white or sweet red, a real martini can be boiled down to these essential elements: vermouth and clear, strong, pure alcohol. Martinis have traditionally been classy drinks consumed by elegant and complicated folks — Truman Capote, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Cary Grant were all celebrated sippers long before Bond, James Bond, came along. To purists, a real martini is made with room-temperature gin and a splash of vermouth; to suggest that it be served “shaken, not stirred” is practically sacrilege. To today’s modern vodka martini enthusiasts, the drink gets even more exciting sans olive. Every type of liquor, from absinthe to schnapps, has been added to the mix, and the distinctive V-shape glass gets bedecked with everything from fresh berries to drizzles of chocolate sauce. It’s good to know that amid the fads, there’s a place in Miami where trendy meets traditional. At Biltmore’s Martini Mondays, guests can get their drink on in the classiest of environments, the hotel’s Cellar Club.

Discriminating sorts can imbibe half-price Belvedere, Cîroc, and Smirnoff vodkas mixed into an astounding array of cocktails. If you’re a purist, feel free to argue with the bartender about the virtues of Tanqueray, every Monday beginning at 6 p.m. Visit or
Mondays, 6 p.m., 2008


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