Beverage Director/bartender extraordinaire Naren Young is trying to change happy hour in New York one drink at a time by launching the 99c Martini initiative at Dante in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. Every Monday through Friday from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., stirred Plymouth gin or Absolut vodka Martinis are up for the taking for—as the name says—99 cents. (Choose your garnish of a caperberry or lemon knot.) Sadly, they are limited to one per person per trip.
The idea was inspired by a recent trip to New Orleans, where Young and Dante owner, Linden Pride, saw a bar offering up martinis for an extremely affordable $0.25. Young thought it was a good idea with questionable ends:
“No doubt what they put in there would have been dubious at best. Ninety-nine cents has a much more profound ring to it; we knew we could do something really thoughtful with it.”
Young’s end goal is to bring back a great happy hour to the thirsty citizens of New York City. Using top-shelf liquors, the martinis are an ode to the original form from the 19th Century, using equal parts of gin or vodka, and vermouth.
And while the experience will be inexpensive, Young does not think it will be cheap. “This will be one of the best Martinis to be found in New York City, stirred by a highly trained professional over very high quality ice in a crystal Japanese mixing glass, and then strained into a beautiful frozen coupe glass. Nothing is being cheapened in this martini other than the price!”