The Times examines places that know how to make a real Martini, with emphasis on cocktailian joints around town.
This seems as good a time as any, actually, to resurrect something I wrote a couple years ago as a comment on Czeltic Girl's site:
Vidiot's Grumpy, Snobbish, And Cantankerous Yet Iron-Clad Rules of Drinking:
1. It is absolutely not permitted to order a mixed drink when one doesn't have the foggiest idea what it contains.
2. It is not permitted to order a drink solely because of its outré or "shocking" name, because it's illegal in parts of the world, or because it has been set on fire.
3. Beer belongs in a glass.
4. Ice belongs in many fine places, but not in Scotch.
5. Same deal with soda.
6. Pay no further attention to anyone who uses the phrase "bruise the gin."
7. If you can legally buy alcohol, you're too old for drinking games.
8. It is not permitted to drink an alcoholic beverage through a straw.
9. A bar that only has plastic disposable shot glasses is one to be avoided.
10. A Martini contains gin and vermouth and sometimes bitters. It does not contain vodka, apples, or chocolate syrup. Those other drinks may be acceptable on occasion, but they are not Martinis.
11. A Martini contains gin and vermouth. Do not waste valuable drinking time by spritzing the gin with vermouth, waving the vermouth bottle around, reciting incantations directed at the vermouth, or other such foofaw. If all you want is a glass of cold gin, simply order accordingly.
(Orange bitters are a fine addition.)
Actually, that leads me to:
12. The use of aromatic bitters in cocktails is heartily encouraged, and in some cases, absolutely required.
UPDATE: Brittney, a former bartender, adds #13:
13. Frozen drinks only happen on the beach. Not in bars anywhere else.