Connecticut’s Best Martini Bars

September 29, 2011 9:00 AM

Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

By Taylor Trudon

H.L. Mencken once called the martini “the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet”—and we couldn’t agree more. Classic and sophisticated, if you’re going to splurge on a martini, then you want to go to the right place to have one. For the tastiest martinis in town, check out our list for the best Connecticut has to offer.

1 Connecticut’s Best Martini Bars

Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Max Downtown
City Place, 185 Asylum Street
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 522-2530
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Fri – 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Sat – 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Sun – 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Reviews, Directions & More Info:

Voted Best of Hartford 2011, Hartford Magazine boasts Max Downtown with having “perfect martinis.” Relax after work in this Sex and the City-esque bar that is both elegant and refined. According to Peyton Dougherty of, renowned mixologist Michael Mills keeps costumers coming back by consistently switching up the menu and using only fresh herbs, spice and fruits to create original martini masterpieces.

Martini to try: Hot and Cool (jalapeno and cucumber infused vodka, $9.95)

11 Connecticut’s Best Martini Bars

Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

116 Crown
116 Crown St. (b/w Church and Orange Sts.)
New Haven, CT
(203) 777-3116
Hours: Sun – 5p.m. to 1 a.m.; Tues to Thurs – 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Fri to Sat: 5 p.m. to 2 a.m

Using fresh-squeezed citrus juices, each cocktail made at 116 Crown is made with only the best. Hailed as the restaurant with the No. 1 martini by the New Haven Advocate’s Best of the Reader’s Poll (2011), these drinks are served “clear, and not cloudy,” just as co-owner John Giannetti thinks martinis should be. Feeling hungry? Bring a friend and enjoy a classic martini along with a shared Northern pizzette, made with smoked prosciutto, arugula, carmelized onion, parmigiano-reggiano and pesto crust.

Martini to try: The Martini (Plymouth gin, boissiere dry vermouth–served straight up, $12)

bartender serves a martini e1311624867275 Connecticut’s Best Martini Bars

Photo Credit:David Silverman/Getty Images

Tisane Tea & Coffee Bar
537 Farmington Ave.
Hartford, CT 06105
(860) 523-5417
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.; Fri – 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.; Saturday: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.; Sunday: 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.; Sunday Brunch: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Reviews, Directions, & More Info:

Though the name of the cafe is deceiving, we promise you that their martinis are not. Mixing European and Asian styles together, this Hartford hot spot is a popular hangout in addition to their unique cuisine. Treat your taste buds to the RoseBerry martini, which was named the best cocktail from Connecticut by GQ. Consisting of berries and lemons, this fresh, tasty martini is the ideal summer drink. But if the RoseBerry martini isn’t your cup of tea, try sample one of the many cocktails on their list ranging from the Naughty Girl Scout to Slumdog Millionaire.

Martini to try: Memoirs of a Geisha (orange vodka, exotic peach and plum sake)

bartender shakes a drink e1311624909839 Connecticut’s Best Martini Bars

Photo Credit: David Silverman/Getty Images

The Loft
97 Washington Street
South Norwalk, CT
(203) 838-6555
Hours: Sun to Thurs – 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Fri to Sat – 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Located in Fairfield County, The Loft is not only known for it’s sophisticated décor including a wrought iron spiral staircase and brick walls, but also for its martini menu. Offering live music four nights per week, The Loft is a low-key venue, but with big accolades. Winner of the Food Network’s “Best Chocolate Indulgence in the USA” for their chocolate martini, it was also the recipient of “Best Martinis in the State” by Connecticut magazine in 2004.

Martini to try: Chocolate Martini (“Smirnoff Vodka with a splash of Godiva Chocolate Liquor, White Crème de Cacao in a cocoa rimmed glass and Hershey’s kiss”)

Taylor Trudon is a recent University of Connecticut journalism graduate. She has contributed to,, The Huffington Post and the USA Today College Blog.

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