Best of Boston

1999 Best Martini

Bristol Lounge

First, a point of order: A proper martini will never, ever be preceded by an adjective. Not chocolate, not raspberry, not blue velvet, not anything. Except, of course, for the words “extremely dry.” Nor shall a martini be bastardized with vodka. Only gin, please, with a mere whisper of vermouth, straight up and very cold. That said, we’re left with a dilemma—namely, how to choose the glass of cold gin. Presentation and atmosphere are the only criteria left. The Bristol Lounge, with its comfy seats, warm nuts, and an upscale yet unpretentious and definitely unstuffy ambience, is the perfect martini arena. Pricey, yes. But tableside pouring from chilled shakers costs money, you know.

Four Seasons Hotel, 200 Boylston St., Boston, 617-351-2053,