It seems that every month there is a new cocktail bar or restaurant opening in Salt Lake City. This is great news for foodies and cocktail nerds, and over the past two years or so, I have seen first-hand the cocktail consumer become more and more educated about the beauty of a well-crafted cocktail. Because of this, the Salt Lake City imbiber is expecting more from local bartenders — both from establishments that are new and passionate about craft cocktails, but also from those restaurants and bars that have been around a while. Truth be told, if you aren’t keeping up with the trends, you’ll get left in the dust.
Martine Cafe has been a Salt Lake City staple for over 15 years. If you consider the growth that Salt Lake City has been through in both the food and cocktail scene, I can only imagine what it has been like trying to keep up. However, a recent trip to Martine completely impressed me and it is obvious that they are doing whatever they can to continue to be leaders within the ever-changing food and beverage culture.
Martine’s cocktail menu features classics — that is, craft cocktails that are used as the building blocks for nearly all other creative cocktails that bartenders shake up. Without a knowledge of the classics, building a new cocktail with balance and perfected flavor profiles can be difficult.
Try the Corpse Reviver #2, above, (Beehive Jack Rabbit Gin, Lillet Blanc, fresh lemon, Cointreau, Absinthe rinse. The perfect cocktail for a hot summer day!) or the The Old Cuban (Abuelo Anejo 12 anos Rum, Mint, Lime, Cava).
You can also get a classic Boulevardier, Old Fashioned, or Manhattan. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t branching out. One of my favorite original cocktails right now is The Slow Burn (left, below), created by Martine manager Greg Fritz, (Knob Creek Bourbon, Aperol, Lillet Rouge, Bitters Lab Habanero Bitters). It is light and easy to sip, with a hint of spice that adds a wonderful complexity. In my sister’s words, “I just want to drink a few of these and talk about life.” Yeah, that is the response I can imagine most bartenders want to hear.
As a cocktail enthusiast and writer, it is pretty easy for me to know quickly if a bar program is resting on its laurels (pre-made, purchased mixers anyone?)….or if shaking (ahem, OR stirring) up new bevvys is an important part of their persona. And, the bar programs that are incorporating both classics and originals are the ones that get me really excited; it demonstrates a knowledge that I personally want my bartender to have. I would definitely check out Martine for a great cocktail — and it only helps that the food is pretty exceptional too.
Check out their Instagram feed for more info on cocktail specials and menu changes! @MartineCafe
Martine Cafe, 100 South 22 East, Salt Lake City \, 801.363.9328