NSIDE Magazine Special “A Tale of Two Martinis” By Fred Fish


Without a word between them, they walked in and surveyed the moment. His calm matched his Tommy Bahama clothes. She simply made casual appear elegant – even with the slight rain falling outside.1

The room was dimly lit, and the chorus of blended conversations almost overwhelmed the French bistro music playing in the background. They moved left to fade out of the open space near the doorway and into the mix of others enjoying Azur Bar.

Leaning toward the bartender, he said, “Cinco vodka. Up. No vermouth. Lemon twist. Shake it hard.” She took the more delicate approach: “I must get out of these wet clothes and into a dry martini.”2 There were smiles all around, as the bartender knew her drink without further comment.

The room had that feel you find easily in Vegas, or with some effort in Austin or Houston – but this was a little-known patois spot in Corpus Christi. It was time to enjoy just a moment of escape.

With a glance down the bar, the guy in the tuxedo stood out. You’re thinking Ian Fleming’s 007, and such an immediate response to “martini” and “tuxedo” might be correct – except this is South Texas. Here, we don’t say anything that sounds like “shaken, not stirred,” unless we’re talking about the pretty ladies dancing to N’Rumba on a Friday night at the Havana club.



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