Martinis have returned to New York with a vengeance, says Emily Sundberg in Grub Street. Brooklyn bar-owner Toby Cecchini reports that six months ago the cocktail started surging ahead of all others. “I watch these kids hammering martinis and I’m like, good Lord,” he says. Because the martini is no longer a “drink of gravitas” associated with tailored suits and men with money clips. It’s about tables of friends sloshing them back in front of the flash of phone cameras. Ordering a martini has become an activity, “something that someone does as much as something that someone drinks”.
Why? They make drinkers look sophisticated, and they’re very boozy so reasonably cheap to get drunk on. But crucially, as pandemic-era wellness gives way to excess and pleasure-seeking, martinis are fun. There’s none of the “sanctimoniousness” of previous trendy drinks, like natural wine. Post-pandemic, people are discovering “life is more malleable than they once thought” – and that includes getting plastered on martinis on a Wednesday, “because we’re all still working from home and we can just turn off the camera on Zoom”.