Cocktail Corner: Martini Time at Holdren’s

“The Perfect 10 Martini” at Holdrens, photo by Leslie Dinaberg

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

“Martinis are the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet.” —H. L. Mencken

I love Martinis, both with vodka and with traditional, old school gin.  There’s something about the shape of the glass, the warmth and smoothness of the booze, the saltiness of the olives … it makes me feel like a member of the Rat Pack or something. Very sophisticated.

As Frank Sinatra famously said to Dean Martin, “Let me fix you a Martini that’s pure magic.” To which Martin responded, “It may not make life’s problems disappear, but it’ll certainly reduce their size.”

Ain’t that the truth!

I recently had a particularly magical Martini at Holdren’s (512 State St., 805/965-3363, They call it “The Perfect 10 Martini,” made with Tanqueray #10 Gin and a splash of dry Vermouth. Ask for the blue cheese olive garnish, it’s pure perfection. Especially during happy hour, which takes place every day from 4-6 p.m. Their $7 appetizer specials include spicy crab and artichoke dip, bruscetta and grilled Castroville artichokes.  Just don’t forget the Martini.

As Ernest Hemingway wrote in A Farewell to Arms, ”I had never tasted anything so cool and clean.” “They made me feel civilized.”

Quite civilized indeed. Cheers!

Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on February 27, 2015.

Leslie Dinaberg

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”