Clint Curtis has worked as a bartender at The Lift for 11 years, and in that time has mixed thousands upon thousands of martinis. For the past five years he has regularly bartended on Wednesday's Martini Night, when most martinis are two for $8 or $5 each. He knows from experience which drinks are the most popular — and as you might imagine, the traditional "two fingers of gin straight up" takes a backseat to some pretty colorful concoctions. The Lift's top-five most requested are some of the sweetest martinis you'll find.
This delicate flower of a martini is made with plenty of fruity sweetness — raspberry Schnapps, vanilla vodka and pineapple juice — but it isn't the fruitiest on the menu. It's one of the newer martinis offered at less than two years old. (Many of the martinis have been on the list for 10 years or more.) The fuchsia-hued drink "isn't as fruity as some because of the vanilla vodka," said Curtis.
4. Pineapple Slut
Simple and sweet, this drink is always sure to please. "You can't lose with this martini. People love it," he said. Perfect for pineapple lovers, the drink features pineapple rum, pineapple juice and orange juice, and its bright yellow color is an indication of the drink's tropical taste. Curtis also said, "The name is fun to say," and we agree.
3. Southern Cosmo
Southern Comfort provides a twist on the traditional cosmo. The drink still has the signature reddish-pink color (cranberry juice) and features citrus vodka and peach schnapps. Curtis calls the drink "citrusy like a regular cosmo," but with a different, slightly spicy taste, thanks to the addition of the Southern Comfort. Cosmo fans can give the drink a try for a change of pace.
When a dessert cocktail is required, many patrons ask for the chocolate martini. The sweet treat is made with crème de cacao, vanilla vodka, Kahlua and Baileys Irish Cream. Curtis likes to pour a little extra Baileys into the drink, giving it a more balanced whiskey-creaminess and a light brown color. "It's a go-to if you're in the mood for something chocolatey," Curtis said.
The most popular martini at The Lift is the naughtily named S&M, made with Peachtree Schnapps, Apple Pucker, lemonade and Sprite. It's a sweet, greenish concoction with a hint of fizz, and it's the one Curtis is most often asked to make. "I don't know if it's the name, but people are drawn to it," he said. It's easy to make, but it packs a bright fruity punch.
Find it: 222 4th St.
Hours: 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday, 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday
Price: most martinis are $7