Best Martini (2000)
The Twister, The Remington Grill
In our ardent quest for Houston's best martini, we asked several bartenders to define the drink. Of course, each gave us a different answer -- and all were correct. While there are some definite guidelines, a single definition does not exist. A generation ago, a martini was as cut-and-dry as its taste: gin and vermouth, shaken or stirred. A generation ago, Houston's highbrows were consuming the classic cocktail among their peers at places like The Remington Hotel. Flash forward to Y2K. Same locale. New hotel. Way different drink. The Remington has become The St. Regis, and inside The St. Regis lies The Remington Grill. In the center of the restaurant lies the bar, and at the center of the bar lies the crystal jar. Inside the jar is the delicately smooth Ketel One vodka. Suspended within the quadruple-distilled Dutch liquor is a single pineapple, peeled and cored, infusing its sweetness into the wheat-based vodka. Let renowned bartender Harry Spitzer create his Twister for you. He starts with a generous pour of his infusion into an ice-filled shaker, followed by a dash of margarita mix. After a vigorous shake, he pours the concoction into a frozen martini glass. And for those of you who've endured the first harsh sips of a martini, the Twister proves it doesn't have to be that way. Instead, you'll bliss out on the thin top layer of sweet, creamy froth and be drawn down into the citrus-clouded Ketel One that beckons below. Don't be deceived by its tropical taste, however. The Twister has the strength of a Category Five.