Smile Politely

Thirsty Thursday: Gin martini with a twist at Collective Pour

Gin martini with a twist at Collective Pour; Photo by Alyssa Buckley

It’s my birthday week, so let’s cheers with one of my favorites: a dry gin martini with a twist at Collective Pour. Even though the Downtown Champaign bar is known for craft beer and whiskey, whenever I’m there, I pretty much always order this cocktail. The off-menu gin martini ($9) sips crazy smooth — dangerously smooth — for a boozy beverage. Its crisp, brisk taste has lovely notes of juniper and botanicals but only a little. There isn’t much flavor to this cocktail beyond faint floral as it drinks just so incredibly smooth. What really makes this delicious is how frosty cold the shaken martini is. Joe will shake that shaker until his hand sticks to the side and the gin is super cold, laced with tiny ice crystals. I know some prefer stirred martinis, but really, the intense shaking makes this one for me. That frigid temp tastes totally refreshing on a June afternoon, and it looks quite classy in its dainty glass with a peel of lemon.

In addition to beer, whiskey, and this gin martini, the Champaign bar has a menu of classic cocktails in addition to house cocktails and rotating boozy soft serve.

The exterior of Collective Pour and Smith Burger Co in Downtown Champaign.
Alyssa Buckley

Collective Pour bar is also home to the restaurant location of Smith Burger Co, the popular burger food truck. Pair a drink with Smith Burger’s delicious onion rings (with housemade ranch) or the burger tacos. Follow the bar on Facebook or Instagram for more. 

Collective Pour bar
340 N Neil St
M-Th 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
F 3 p.m. to midnight
Sa 1 p.m. to midnight
Su 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Food + Drink Editor / / instagram

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