Oceanaire Martini

I would have liked living in the 1930s. Big bands headed by Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and Count Basie were in their heyday, playing at famous clubs like the Savoy and the Cotton Club. And it was the golden age of luxurious ocean liners: the Normandie out of France, the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth from England. So when I walked into Oceanaire, the gorgeous new supper club/cruise ship/art-deco room that incorporates all the best style trends of the '30s, including a beautiful dark-wood bar, I couldn't help but fall into a sea of love. It didn't hurt that I'm freakishly obsessed with the Bravo reality cooking show Top Chef, where the executive chef at San Diego's Oceanaire, Brian Malarkey, is kicking ass. Although all of the Oceanaire bars feature classic cocktails — Harvey Wallbanger, Rusty Nail, Grasshopper, Mai Tai — I went for the signature drink, the Oceanaire Martini ($10.25), which the bartender here doctored slightly from the corporate standard by making it with Bombay Sapphire Gin, Blue Curaçao (very '30s), peach schnapps, freshly muddled limes and a tiny splash of pineapple juice. The color of the cocktail echoed the blue tinted lighting behind the bar, adding to the drink's impact. Like the song says: "It makes no difference if it's sweet or hot/Just give that rhythm everything you've got."


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