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Saddles Steakhouse, Sonoma: The home of Martini Madness, a debaucherous evening celebrating all things martini, Saddles offers fourteen martinis on their menu that have gained them a cult following of locals. Relax in the Western themed bar with a sweet and sour Lemon Brulee Martini or Jack London-themed Call of the Wild Martini, complete with house-stuffed blue cheese olives. Happy hour is even better with discounted martinis and appetizers to soak up the boozy goodness.
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El Dorado Kitchen, Sonoma: Located in the heart of historic downtown Sonoma, EDK, as locals call it, serves up contemporary California cuisine with cool cocktails, which help refresh the palate after a day of wine tasting. Kick it with gin martini shaken poolside or order the off-the-menu Peach Jalapeño Martini. Many martinis are topped with fresh flowers and old school stirs making them Instagram worthy. (Photo: Jaque Sanchez)
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Mary's Pizza Shack, Sonoma: While not all Mary's Pizza Shacks offer liquor, some do, and the Sonoma Plaza location has created a local following for their potent and tasty offerings. Their Pomegranate Martini, which they partnered with Sonoma Syrup Co. to create, won this year's Martini Madness, the biggest battle of martini makers in the county. For those keeping it simple, pop in for early or late night happy hour and order a $3 well 'tini. (Photo courtesy of Sonoma Syrup Co.)
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Sonoma Grille, Sonoma: If you didn't know by now, the city of Sonoma is a haven for martini lovers. Sonoma Grille offers well martinis for $6 during happy hour, with the classic gin being the most popular, paired with fresh oysters. Speciality 'tinis are offered, with local favorites being the Lemon Berry Drop and Saint Citrus, the latter which blends Citron Orange Vodka with Saint Germain for a unique flavor. While the bar is nice, the back patio is even better to enjoy your drink of choice.
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Glen Ellen Inn, Glen Ellen: With over 30 martinis on the menu, Glen Ellen Inn is hands down one of the most martini-friendly bars in Wine Country. Their martinis range from traditional to eccentric, with local favorites being the Twisted Sister (vodka, St. Germain, Champagne, lemon juice) and the Sugar Daddy (vodka, caramel Baileys & Godiva liquor). Have too many martinis during your visit? Spend the night at the inn, which has seven luxury "secret cottages," and enjoy brunch the next day - with a Bloody Mary martini, of course.
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Seared, Petaluma: Petaluma's favorite steak and seafood restaurant offers a nice selection of gins and vodkas that pair perfectly with local oysters. Martini enthusiasts will want to keep it simple at Seared with the house martini (Gordon's Gin or Svedka Vodka, shaken and served on the rocks) or a Chopin Rye Martini served up or on the rocks. At happy hour, martinis are $5. (Photo: beverlyks)
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Ricardo's Bar & Grill, Santa Rosa: The cozy, old school vibe of Ricardo's makes for a primo spot to sip cocktails. Martini is their speciality cocktail, so there is no shortage of options. Martini enthusiasts will appreciate Monday nights, when special martinis are $6 until last call. Happy hour offers $4 vodka martinis (including a tasty Cosmo) and they just reintroduced the Cantaloupe Martini back on the menu, which was made famous at Santa Rosa's Cafe Portofino.
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Stark's Steak & Seafood, Santa Rosa: One requirement of a good steakhouse is a good martini and Stark's is no exception to the rule. Cocktail historians will appreciate the Gibson, an old school savory cousin of the martini that is on the cocktail menu. Even better? They offer classic Beefeater martinis for only $3.50 during happy hour. Vodka fans won't be disappointed either, a Chopin Rye is on the happy hour menu, too. (Photo: Missfah)
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The Gallery Bar & Bistro, Healdsburg: Barndiva's sister restaurant, The Gallery Bar and Bistro is a Warholesque art gallery and lounge with classic bistro fare. Oh, and martinis. They keep it old school at the Gallery, to complement the "craft" vibe of Barndiva. Their speciality is a clean or dirty vodka martini, served with a side of olives for those who love that extra bite on top of those served in the glass. Pair with some bone marrow tater tots and you've got a perfect start to the evening.
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B&B Lounge, Healdsburg: One of the best kept secrets for martinis in Sonoma County is the B&B Lounge. Bartender Edie has a dedicated group of followers from throughout the Bay Area who flock to the bar to sip Edie's handcrafted martinis served in chilled glasses. You can't go wrong with a classic gin martini or something a little sweeter - try Edie's Cosmo for the perfect pucker. The bar makes for a great, low key escape in what can be sometimes feel like pretentious Wine Country. (Photo: Amy W.)
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