A martini says something that a cold beer or glass of wine could never hope to. It shows the rest of the bar how classy you are and, of course, showcases your love for James Bond. If 007 isn’t your drinking partner, a good martini can be hard to find, but Orange County has you covered with a host of martini specialty spots, from the beaches of Laguna to Fullerton’s upscale lounges.
ENVY Ultra Lounge
120 W Wilshire Avenue # A
Fullerton, CA 92832
Come down to ENVY for the modern take on the martini lounge, packed with comfy booths and dance floors. This lounge makes its martinis strong and doesn’t charge you an arm and a leg for a shaken piece of heaven in a glass. ENVY offers a myriad of martinis to match well with whatever you’re dining on, be it seafood or kobe beef. The bartenders here create some unique drinks, not to be found anywhere else in Orange County, and definitely worth your time if you’re in the area.
Mastro’s Ocean Club
8112 E Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92657
Mastro’s Ocean Club is a swanky Newport Beach staple known for its delicious seafood, excellent service and live entertainment. Complimenting the Ocean Club’s sushi and fresh seafood menu is its cocktail list. This is a place to go if you’re looking to splurge and spoil yourself or a date for the night. Opt for the Classic with stuffed bleu cheese olives, Belvedere vodka and caper berries or walk on the wilder side with a S’mores Martini, made with chocolate vodka, Monin toasted marshmallow, Navan liquer and whipped cream. The lounge is open until 1 a.m. daily, so you can take your time sipping on your stirred or shaken masterpiece.
448 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Watermarc’s combination of great service and hip style makes it a perfect drink location to raise your pinky and sip on a delicious martini. This isn’t a traditional “guy’s bar,” but nothing should keep fellas from taking their ladies to this swanky joint. On the other hand, it shouldn’t keep the single guys away, either, as this is a great spot to meet available women enjoying drinks out with friends. While the martinis and cocktails here cater to a more feminine sensibility, they’re still guaranteed to be tasty while not skimping on the booze.
Steamers Jazz Club
138 W Commonwealth Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832
Nothing can make a martini shine like having the right music to accompany it, and a live jazz club is just the thing to make the perfect night out just a little more special. With a calendar full of hot artists and a bar full of cold drinks, ordering a specialty martini at Steamers Jazz Club is sure to help you fit right in. Be sure to ask for the martini menu or just order the chocolate one, if cocoa is your bag. The fact that Steamers has a dedicated martini menu should be enough incentive to give this diamond in the rough a shot.
Luxe Resturant and Martini Bar
24582 Del Prado
Dana Point, CA 92629
With a few dozen martini choices and a ton of charm, Luxe will transport you to a simpler time when the drinks were strong, the patrons were hip and the music was smooth. The atmosphere here is built to be more sophisticated than any other joint. Grab a few tapas to share with a date over one of the bar’s simple yet delectable martinis, like the cucumber or ginger varieties.
Jesse Seilhan is a writer, editor and photographer from the California Bay Area. After moving to Long Beach, Jesse continues his passion for writing and music by covering concerts, interviewing top artists, and giving a dose of wisdom in a crazy, mixed-up musical world. His work can be found at Examiner.com.