Watch CBS News

Ask A Sacramento Bartender: Your Best Martini Recipe

There are a select group of bartenders in Sacramento that live for the art of putting together creative cocktails. Most of these boys and girls know each other, as they all do work in similar circles. It's been really nice to see the evolution of Sacramento bars over the past several years and the increase in number of craft cocktail locations. More and more, we are seeing revivals of classic cocktails along with new and daring recipes sometimes using ingredients the everyday drinker may not have heard of. The fact is that the modern bartender is going to be willing and, most importantly, able to take you on a beverage journey if given the opportunity. You can always separate the real bartenders from the rookies. A real bartender's face will light up if you aren't sure what you want and trust them to just whip something up for you. Our featured bartender, Ian Young, currently of The Red Rabbit Kitchen and Bar, fits nicely into the category of real bartender.
Ian Young
The Red Rabbit Kitchen And Bar
2718 J St.
Sacramento CA, 95816
(916) 706-2275

Ian comes to us from the Red Rabbit on J street. He moved to Sacramento from Oakland in 2012 and began working at The Shady Lady. If you're familiar with the bar program at The Shady Lady, then you know bartending there is not for the meek. The crowds are abundant, the prep work is plentiful and the recipes are labor intensive. More importantly, all of the juices are fresh squeezed, which has proven to be a winning signature for the guys over at The Shady Lady Saloon, the only speakeasy-style bar in Sacramento. Ian also spent a decade at Pennini's Pizza pub and Michael's Ristorante and Bar in Moraga, California. In May of 2014, Ian went to Amsterdam as an apprentice for Lucas Bols, the Dutch company known around the world as a distributor of fine spirits. While there, Ian was a part of the "Bols Around The World" annual international bartending competition. Locally, Ian has been a finalist at Sacramento's Midtown Cocktail Week bartending competition for the past two years in addition to being the reigning two-time champion of the Shady Lady Saloon's Karaoke bartending competition. Young took first place at Vanguard's Sunday Showdown Series, a bartending competition sponsored by Oxley Gin. In addition to competing and working at The Red Rabbit, Ian is currently consulting on the production of the spirit Genever Dutch Gin alongside Dutch and Dewey Distillery located in Homboldt County. Ian was kind enough to share two of his martini recipes with us which we are happy to share with our readers.

Related: Ask A Sacramento Expert: Your Best Hot Winter Drink

The Flemingway
  • 1.5 oz Bols Genever Gin
  • .75 oz Grand Poppy Liqueur
  • .5 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
  • 2 dashes angostura orange bitters
  • Expressed Lemon Peel (garnish)


Build in a cocktail shaker. Stir all of the above ingredients over ice in your shaker, then strain out the cocktail into a Leopold Coupe glass (served up). Garnish with the lemon peel.

Spirit Specter
  • 2 oz Ketel One Vodka
  • .75 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
  • 1 bar spoon worth of Aperol Apertivo
  • expressed orange peel garnish


Build in cocktail shaker. Stir all of the above ingredients over ice in your shaker, then strain out the cocktail into a Leopold Coupe glass (served up). Garnish with the orange peel.

Related: Best Cocktail Happy Hours In Sacramento

As a hospitality professional Andy Soto has worked every facet of the industry. He currently leads the team at Spectrum Restaurant Consulting. He started writing a hospitality blog in 2009 and restaurant writing for Sacramento Press in 2010. In 2011 Andy became a Sacramento Restaurant Examiner for His work can be found on
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.