Whether you like your martini with gin or vodka, dry or on the rocks, below are my personal choices of the 5 top bars in Tucson, Arizona that serve the best martinis.
1. Shelter Cocktail Lounge
Location: 4155 E. Grant Road
Telephone number: 326-1345
Hours: Sunday-Saturday: 3:00 P.M.-2:00 A.M.
Happy Hour: Tuesdays through Sundays: 3:00 P.M. to 8 P.M. and all night on Mondays.
The Shelter Cocktail Lounge specializes in martinis. In my opinion, they serve the best chocolate martinis. If you love chocolate and sweetness, this is the drink for you. It tastes and looks just like chocolate milk with its excellent consistency. As you are drinking it, you don’t even taste a bit of the gin and vermouth it consists of. This is the perfect drink for a lover of chocolate milk and a person who really doesn’t like the taste of liquor. Two of their several other martini specialties (and ones I like) are the Hypnotic-Tini, which is made of Hpnotiq and Stoli Strawberry and their Alien Secretion, which is a mix of Malibu, melon liqueur and pineapple juice. Their prices are good.
2. Sullivan’s Steak House
Location: 1785 E. River Road
Telephone number: 299-4275
Hours: Monday-Friday: 11:00 A.M.-11:00 P.M.; Saturday & Sunday: 5:30 P.M.-11:00 P.M.
Happy Hour: Thursdays from 5:00 P.M.-11:00 P.M. & Sundays from 5:00 P.M.-10:00 P.M.
Sullivan’s Steak House offers approximately 10 different martinis. My favorite martini here is called The Knockout, which is made with pineapple and Smirnoff orange vodka. Sullivan’s Steak House was rated the best place to order a martini in Tucson Lifestyle magazine’s Nifty 50 Reader’s Vote results as part of their Best of the City article. During happy hour in the bar and on the patio their selected martinis are only $5.00 each. During regular hours their price for martinis can run as high as double their happy hour price.
3. Kingfisher Bar & Grill
Location: 2564 E. Grant Road
Telephone number: 323-7739
Hours: Monday-Friday: 11:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M. & 5:00 P.M.-midnight; Saturday & Sunday: 5:00 P.M.-midnight
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday from 4:30 P.M.-6:30 P.M. and 10:00 P.M.-midnight with drinks and appetizer specials.
Kingfisher Bar & Grill serves 8 different martinis at $9.75 each. My three favorite martinis here are their: Chocolate Martini which is made with Absolut vodka, white Creme de Cocao and chocolate shavings; Raspberry Monk Martini which is made with Vox Raspberry vodka, a bit of Frangelico, a splash of Chambord and kiln dried raspberry; and their Expresso Martini which is made with Absolut vanilla vodka, a splash of espresso and Kahlua. If I had to choose just one as my favorite martini to have here, it would be the Expresso Martini because I personally love the taste of coffee (and Kahlua.) and they make this one taste extremely delicious.
4. Frog & Firkin
Location: 874 E. University Blvd.
Telephone number: 623-7507
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 11:00 A.M.-11:00 P.M.; Friday & Saturday: 11:00 A.M.-2:00 A.M.
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday: 4:00 P.M.-7:00 P.M.
Frog & Firkin serves 13 different martinis and their regular price is very reasonable – $7.00 each. If you still want the taste of alcohol in your martinis, Frog & Firkin has the nicest blend of just the right amount of everything. My three favorite martinis here are their: Amoretini which is made with Stoli razberi, Galliano, and Creme de Cacao; Chocolatini which is made with Stoli vanilla and Creme de Cacao; and their Appletini which is made with Vox vodka and apple pucker. Which martini is my favorite here depends on what taste I feel like having at the time. All three of my favorites are excellent.
5. North Restaurant
Location: 2995 E. Skyline Drive
Telephone number: 299-1600
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 11:00 A.M.-10:00 P.M.; Friday & Saturday: 11:00 A.M.-midnight
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday: 3:00 P.M.-6:00 P.M.
Sometimes I like just a regular old-fashion martini with green olives and I found that the North has the best flavored and just the right blended for this type. It is not too bitter, so the taste is just right for me. They serve a good selection of martinis but can be a bit pricey when it’s not happy hour.
Nifty 50 (January 2010, Volume 29, No. 1); Tucson Lifestyle Magazine, Conley Magazine, LLC., page 71.