Each week, we order the same cocktail at two different bars for a friendly head-to-head battle. Go to the bars, taste them both and tell us what you like about each by tagging @pghcitypaper on Twitter or Instagram and using #CPBoozeBattles. If you want to be a part of Booze Battles, send an email to food-and-beverage writer Celine Roberts, at email@example.com.
The Drink: Dirty Martini
Kelly’s Bar & Lounge
6012 Centre Ave, East Liberty
Ingredients: Hendrick’s gin, dry vermouth, olive brine, two green olives
Our take: The firm green olives and healthy dose of salt from the olive brine make this martini refreshing and complex. Hendrick’s falls on the softer, more floral side of gins, and makes for a good choice for (almost) straight drinking. Served ice-cold and with no frills, this is exactly the kind of martini Don Draper would choose.
5744 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside
Ingredients: Hendrick’s gin, dry vermouth, lime juice, olive brine, three green olives
Our take: The lime juice gives the botanicals in the gin a lift, bringing out the rose- and cucumber-infused flavors. The acid in the citrus also balances the saltiness of the olives. Using dry vermouth makes this cocktail, served ice-cold, booze-forward but not too harsh. Extra olives are always a nice treat after a strong drink.