There’s nothing like a good drink to buff out the edges of a rough day. When administered properly, alcohol can help ease the mind and body of stress. Downtown Orlando offers a wide variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants housing varying levels of ambience and drink specials. Choosing a destination is intimidating to the uninformed imbiber. One suggestion is to start at one end of Orange Avenue and drink your way to the other. Another suggestion is to check out Sam Snead’s downtown location.
Sam Snead’s caters to the whims of clientele ranging from nine-to-five professionals to first-daters to those in search of a nice place to nosh. The low-key golf decor of the restaurant won’t have you yelling “fore,” but their specialty drinks may inspire you to buy “four.” One specialty drink to try is the restaurant’s popular Candie’s Apple Martini. The drink is named after restaurant owner and recipe creator, Candie Ryser.
Don’t be put off by the “martini” part of the name. Yes, the traditional martini is a mix of gin and vermouth with either an olive or a twist of lemon. Today’s translation of martini is a little loose, turning a classy drink into more palatable concoctions, but the spirit of the original remains.
Candie’s Apple Martini continues to break down traditions. While green in color (candy apples are usually red), the drink is rich and sweet in flavor and captures the essence of its creator. The drink’s 2:1 ratio of apple pucker to vodka delightfully masks the presence of the vodka, making the drink easy to sip and a perfect beverage for drinking virgins, timid consumers, and those of us who don’t care for the taste of alcohol. A slice of Granny Smith apple tops off the drink, giving cherries, olives, and tiny paper umbrellas a run for their money. Because of its light and fruity nature, sucking down several of these would take minimal effort. Even though it doesn’t taste like an alcoholic beverage, it does pack some punch that can be felt several minutes into your second or third drink.
The martini was perfected by Candie last year, when she combined her love of apple martinis with a need for a signature drink for the restaurant. She and her staff took to their experiments for nearly five hours before reaching the final recipe. Since then, the concoction has soared in popularity with both guys and girls. On arrival, it may look like a girl drink, but it’s definitely strong enough for a man. Candie’s Apple Martini is only available at the downtown location.
The official recipe:
1 oz. vodka
2 1/2 oz. apple pucker
a splash of Sam Snead’s blend of splash sour
1 thin slice of Granny Smith apple
Mix and serve.
If apple and vodka doesn’t suit your taste buds, Sam Snead’s offers a host of other martini selections including Strange Brew, Chocolate, Man Style (traditional with blue cheese stuffed olive and a hot pepper), and Booty Call (a mix of vodka and Red Bull energy drink). The restaurant has daily drink specials, live music on the weekends, and occasional special events. Drop by for a leisurely lunch or hang out and watch sports on the 50 inch plasma-screen television.
originally published in the February-March 2003 issue of Industry magazine.
Content on this site was originally written by Katharine Miller between 2000-2015. Many feature articles and interviews were published in print and on websites that no longer exist. Katharine is reproducing her written material here for portfolio and archival purposes only. Links and credits to clients and original publication will be included where possible.