Who makes the best martini? Nine local mixologists and bartenders representing their establishments will compete for the “People’s Choice Award,” while official judges will determine first, second, and third place winners for mixing the best martinis.
Competitors are reigning champion Bar Cava, Bentley’s, Firehouse Bar and Grill, Martinez Yacht Club, Nu-Rays, Roxx on Main, Taco Daddy’s, Troy, and Whiskey Lane.

The popular Martinez Martini Shake-off is Martinez Chamber’s annual signature event, held at Plaza Ignacio Fountain at the steps of Martinez City Hall.

Honoring Martinez’s historical claim to the birthplace and home of the martini, this is one of East Bay’s more stunning and creative social events. It is always a sell-out with a capacity of 450. Attendees will enjoy live music by Mixed Nuts, a fully catered dinner from Zandonella, specialty libations, beer, wine, a silent auction, and the creative making of martinis. Suggested attire is a black tie optional or cocktail.

Admission price includes dinner and two drink tickets per person. Additional drink tickets may be pre-purchased at a discount, or at regular price at the event. Table Purchases of 10 will be reserved seating. All other tickets are open seating.
The last day to buy tickets (unless sold out) is September 8. Tickets are not available at the door. Attendees must be 21 years of age minimum and IDs are required at Check-In. A VIP Check-In will be available for Table Purchases. Forward your table guest names to: irene@martinezchamber.com or contact directly at (925) 228-2345 by September 8. Questions may be directed to the Martinez Chamber of

Commerce at (925) 228-2345. No refunds will be issued. For more details go to www.martinezmartini.com.
Proceeds from this classy affair support the Martinez Chamber of Commerce which appreciates this year’s generous sponsors: Humbolt Distillery, Cooperative Federal Credit Union, Republic Services, Bill’s Ace Hardware, WCS Inc. General Contractor, Market & Main, Claycord.com, Eco Services, East Bay Realtor Roland Osage, David De Leeuw of Keller Williams, 1st Norcal Credit Union and this publication, Diablo Gazette.

The Martini Story
Now about that historical claim of the naming of the martini. In the short story version of the lore, in 1849, a miner struck it rich and was headed to San Francisco before arriving in Martinez along the way. He walked into a bar to order champagne, which the bar did not have. The bartender instead mixed a special drink that he called the “Martinez Special.” The miner loved it, then went to San Francisco and shared the recipe with a bartender there and told him it was the Martinez Special. The bartender liked and it passed it on. The name eventually became Martini.
Now, there are several versions of this story online of others claiming to have invented the drink including San Francisco that has created a stir. But we are not shaken by them; we will stick with the Martinez version, otherwise wouldn’t the drink have been called a “Frisca?”