Best of Miami

Top Ten Martinis: From Doraku to Sustain to the Raleigh, Who's Number One?

Fox's Sherron Inn took the best martini spot in our annual listing of everything good in our fair city for their well-priced martinis in a classic 1950s setting.

Miami has no alcohol shortage (in fact it's safe to say that there are more places to get a cocktail than there are mosquitoes in the Everglades), but that doesn't mean that every bar and lounge can make a swank martini. Though the standard martini is made with gin and vermouth, straight up, we've expanded out search to encompass any martini drink that would pass muster for James Bond. We now bring you our favorite Miami martinis...shaken, not stirred.

10. Doraku
Doraku's happy hour is legendary in South Beach. Each day from 5 to 7 p.m., Doraku's bar and outside tables fill up come rain or shine. Why so popular? Can you say $4 lychee martinis? That's right!Four bucks buys you a sweet, flowery martini, served chilled to near freezing. So satisfying, so right, this is one delicious deal in an otherwise expensive city.

9. Haven

South Beach techno lounge has got a martini for all you playahs in da

house that rank a cocktail by its price tag. The DiVine martini is a

classic dirty vodka martini with a caviar-stuffed olive. This drink will

cost you $40, which is around the price of a steak. But you'd much

rather be thin and fabulous, than eat. Right dahling?

Bourbon Steak
8. Bourbon Steak

you're deciding between dessert and a cocktail, then you must have the

key lime martini ($14) from Bourbon Steak in Aventura. This decadent

concoction is made with vanilla vodka, fresh squeezed lime, and a touch of cream. The rim

is lined with graham cracker crumbs to complete the picture. A great way

to have your cake and drink it too.

Smith and Wollensky
7. Smith & Wollensky

about a room with a view. The back bar at Smith & Wollensky

directly faces the Port of Miami's channel, where at any time of the day

you can watch cruise and cargo ships take up the entire vista. The gin

martinis are classic here ($14), the bartender making enough for at

least a glass and a half, leaving the small stainless steel shaker for

you to refill your icy glass at will. Order extra olives so you'll have

the correct ratio of martini-to-garnish, sit back, and pretend you're

late for boarding your round the world cruise. Ahhh...fantasies.

Laine Doss
6. Wynwood Kitchen & Bar

Kitchen & Bar takes its artsy neighborhood seriously with mural

covered walls both inside and outside. The bar may look hipster, but

the martinis are straight sophistication. These artistic cocktails, are

inspired by 21st century artists like Shepherd Fairey and Keny Scharf.

The Futura ($12) has our hearts and taste buds alight. A blend of

vanilla vodka, Grand Marnier, and fresh squeezed orange juice, this

martini tastes like a creamsicle with a distinct bite.

Laine Doss
5. Prelude by Barton G.

we know Barton G. is all about the dry ice, large fruity boat drinks,

and showmanship. But allow them to make you an extra dirty Tanqueray

martini ($14) and they'll show you some mad bar skills. Your martini

comes in an extra large glass (some would call it an instant double),

garnished with three olives. Slightly cloudy to look at, slightly salty

to taste. Knock this one back and even that musical about the two witches

in Oz will seem amusing.

Laine Doss
4. The Corner

neighborhood joint may look like a place to grab a brew, but think

again, grasshopper. The bar manager is also a master mixologist who

trained his people in the art of the cocktail. A dirty gin martini is

stirred, not shaken (shaking can bruise the gin), with just the right

amount of vermouth. Poured into a frosted glass, and garnished with a

skewer of cornichon, pearl onion and olive ($12 - $14).

Laine Doss
3. Sustain Restaurant + Bar
Sustain's bar manager Daniel Toral makes perfectly crafted cocktails, so it's almost a

shame to not let this bar master so his thing, but we're talking

martinis today. A classic gin martini ($12) with a twist arrives so cold one

wonders whether another nanosecond of chilling would turn the entire

drink to ice. The near-freezing gin is fragrant, herbal, and the lemon

twist gives the drink a hint of citrus. Simply a gorgeous drink.

Laine Doss
2. Hakkasan
Hakkasan at the Fontainebleau Hotel's bar

manager Camille Austin creates most of Hakkasan's complex martinis and

cocktail, so she has no one to blame but herself when people become

addicted to her outrageous drinks. We're obsessed with the red hot

passion martini. Made with Stoli white pomegranate, fresh green apple,

agave nectar, fresh lemon

juice and pomegranate juice, it's then garnished with a perfect slice of


and fresh grated cinnamon. Gorgeous, delicious, and expensive. Kids,

this is one cocktail you do not want to make at home.

1. The Martini Bar at the Raleigh

one of the top ten hotel bars of the world by Details magazine, this

little gem is tucked away mid-lobby in Miami Beach's Raleigh Hotel. A note on the

menu catches your eye, "please allow your barkeep a minute or two to

craft your cocktail with the finest spirits and the freshest

ingredients" and truer words have never been spoken. This bar is so

retro, you wouldn't be shocked if Bogie and Bacall sat down and asked

you for a light. Though the Martini Bar has an extensive collection of

original creations, each named after a lovely lady, it would be a crime

to not order a classic martini, straight up, extra olives. Now sit back

and wait for your barkeep to make you the ultimate drink, as you kill

time with Betty Bacall.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss