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10 Must-Try Martinis

Looking for the best martinis–shaken or stirred? Here are our picks for 10 fabulous establishments to savor martinis in Denver and Boulder (listed in no particular order).

Chef Andrew Lubatty, Avenue Grill

1. The Avenue Grill {630 East 17th Avenue, Denver; 303.8861.2820} 

A Denver dining mainstay since 1988, The Avenue Grill will transport you back to the ’30s and ’40s. The martinis fit the ambience, and include the House, the 1950s Style (stirred and up with a twist), and the Pre-Prohibition Style (equal parts gin and dry vermouth with orange bitters, up and with a twist).

Photo Credit: Nick and Shelien Hadfield

Photo Credit: Nick and Shelien Hadfield

2. Elway’s {multiple locations}

There’s nothing like a great martini with your steak, and you can get them at this iconic Denver steakhouse for just $7 during the daily happy hour. We’ll sip to that!

3. The Palm {1672 Lawrence Street, Denver; 303.825.7256}

The first location of The Palm opened in 1926 in New York. This classic tradition in American steakhouses carves out a spot just off 16th Street Mall in Denver and knows how to shake up a fantastic martini. Try the Pucker Up Lemon Drop, too, with Ciroc vodka, Cointreau orange liqueur, fresh lemon, and a splash of sour in a sugar-rimmed martini glass.

license2

4. The Corner Bar {2115 13th Street, Boulder; 303.442.4880}

The Corner Bar is just one of three places within the historic Hotel Boulderado to get great martinis. Go classic or spring for the Strawberry Basil Martini with Cap Rock vodka, strawberry basil syrup, fresh lime, and Caprese Spiedo with balsamic. The Boulderado’s main restaurant, Spruce Farm & Fish, and its speakeasy-style subterranean bar, License No. 1 also offer fantastic martinis, like the Chaitini.

The Cruise Room

5. The Cruise Room at The Oxford Hotel {1659 Wazee Street, Denver; 303.825.1107}

The Cruise Room has been one of the best places to drink cocktails and martinis in Denver since around 1933. With Art Deco décor and jazz on the sound system, you’ll feel oh so classy indulging in a dirty gin martini here.

Vita

6. Vita {1575 Boulder Street, Denver; 303.477.4600}

On one of Denver’s best rooftop patios, enjoy one of six martinis–which change flavors seasonally. Our favorites are The Step Up with Russian Standard vodka, muddled jalapeño, and olive brine; and the Flatliner with 3-Olives triple espresso vodka and 3-Olives vanilla vodka, Kahlua, and Irish cream.

The Corner Office

7. The Corner Office {1401 Curtis Street, Denver; 303.825.6500}

Fabulous martinis are the name of the game here. There are too many specialty martinis to list here, but we’re all about the Juniper Verte with Botanist gin, St. Germain, cucumber, and lime. Other fun martini ingredients here include ginger liqueur, pear sake, pumpkin purée, and housemade sour.

Williams and Graham

8. Williams & Graham {3160 Tejon Street, Denver; 303.997.8886}

The only thing better than a Williams & Graham martini is the sultry, fun ambience of this must-visit bar. In the speakeasy tradition, it’s hidden behind a bookstore and smacks of the Prohibition era. We love this sassy take on the martini: the Martinez with Hayman’s gin, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Leopold Bros. maraschino, and Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter bitters.

Colt & Gray Martini

9. Colt & Gray {1553 Platte Street, Denver; 303.477.1447}

The martinis here come with whimsical names like “Don’t Cross the Streams,” featuring Beefeater gin, Calvados, sweet vermouth, and chartreuse. The bar here also plays with flavors like clove, coconut, and Palisade peach. And check out Ste. Ellie next door for more martini perfection.