Tucked away on a side street in Fells Point is one of the area's sometimes unnoticed but well appointed establishments, Red Star Bar and Grill, a spacious eatery with walls that could tell a million stories if given voice.
Manager Matt Straub gives a bit of a history lesson on the spot: Red Star was once a brothel in the early days of Baltimore. "Sailors used to dock at Fells Point and follow the red stars painted on the sidewalks to Red Star for food, ale ... and a little more," he says. Well, while the promise of a buxom lass has been prohibited in exchange for money in these parts for quite some time, Red Star has built a sultry cocktail with a profile worthy of the namesake — the Red Star Martini.
Shaken vigorously, the Red Star features a blend of Finlandia Tangerine Vodka, Peach Schnapps, Raspberry Liqueur (both courtesy of Bols) with healthy doses of pineapple and cranberry juice. The freshly poured cocktail has a frothy, velvety top, a deep red hue and a fruit-filled flavor that despite its sweet ingredients doesn't hit you over the head with sugar. The tart cran and raspberry flavors complement the smoothness of peach and pineapple, providing a tasteful balancing act you'll more than likely find yourself sipping vigorously until there's nothing left but the bottom of the glass and memories.
So while the painted stars adorning the sidewalks of Fells Point may no longer be necessary to find Red Star, what with those "smart phones" we've got nowadays, it'd be well worth your time to pop into the once-upon-a-time brothel and give their titular cocktail a whirl. Particularly on Wednesdays, when they're $5 all day. Prost!
How to make the Red Star Martini
1 oz. Finlandia tangerine vodka
1 oz. Bols peach schnapps
1 oz. Bols raspberry liqueur
Combine all ingredients (pineapple and cranberry to taste) in a shaker over ice, shake vigorously. Strain into martini glass.
Where to get the Red Star Martini
Red Star Bar and Grill
906 S. Wolfe St., Fells Point
$8, $5 WednesdaysCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun