Think martini and chances are, iconic movie spy James Bond would come to mind. It’s a classy and elegant cocktail that has come to be one of the mainstays of just about every reputable bar across the globe.

Like many other cocktails, the origin of the martini isn’t exactly clear. One source states that it was created by a vermouth maker named Alessandro Martini who lived in the 1860s. Another camp believes that it was conceived in a San Francisco hotel situated near a town called Martinez.

Either way, the tipple today is available in gin or vodka form with vermouth, and is garnished with either olives or a lemon twist. Whether you like yours dirty, dry or up on the rocks – downing a well-crafted martini feels “as perfect as sonnet,” — as journalist HL Mencken sums it up.

While few of us are that poetic, just drinking from that conical glass alone leaves an impression of just how classy and elegant you are. More than that, you’ll never get tired of a martini with its many varieties to try. Whether you like gin or vodka, having it with strawberry or lychee liqueurs can easily jazz it up. But if you really want something with a kick, then say hello espresso martini.

If you still haven’t found your favourite variety amidst all these choices, we advise you to start tasting them at these 5 bars known to serve the best in Kuala Lumpur.

1
The Rabbit Hole

As far as bars can go, this impressive three-story bar in Bukit Bintang has a few tricks up its sleeve. It serves food, wine, and other alcoholic beverages in six unique environments that were inspired by fantasy narratives Alice in Wonderland and Narnia Chronicles. These include an al fresco dining space, a gentlemen’s club and a graffiti bar for drinking, as well as a green room club for dancing. While their Margarita (a tequila infused with agave nectar and lime juice, RM29) won’t leave you disappointed, guests rave about their espresso martini (RM29), a frothy mix of bittersweet addiction that’s considered as one of the best in KL.

The Rabbit Hole, No. 16, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +6010 899 3535

2
Marini's on 57

Perhaps, one of the most beautiful dining and drinking venues in KL, this stunning Italian restaurant is interconnected to a whiskey & cigar lounge. It’s also linked to a rooftop bar, which offers an immaculate view near the Petronas Towers that has attracted celebrities like Malaysian fashion designer Datuk Jimmy Choo, and actor Benedict Cumberbatch among others. Once you reached the top, signature cocktails like the Scottish Martini (RM57) will make the panoramic views better. You won’t find a martini quite like this one from Marini’s as this Earl Grey-infused Scotch whisky is not only mixed with tamarind syrup and lemon juice, but also with egg white.

Marini’s on 57, Level 57, Menara 3 Petronas, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603 2386 6030

3
W.I.P. Café & Restaurant

Short for Whipped Into Place, W.I.P is a lifestyle destination that attracts epicureans with a resort ambience. It also has an urban-tropic garden that provides the perfect setting to indulge in a hearty selection of Western, Asian and Northern Indian cuisine. Head on to their Clam Bar and complement the food with innovative cocktails, premium champagnes, wines, spirits and an wide range of Mojitos. If you’re at a loss on what type of mojito you should be enjoying, dart straight to their Martini menu. Aside from espresso and apple, we’d strongly recommend their Lychee Martini (RM29) for its fragrant, delicious concoction of vodka, lychee liqueur, lime juice, lychee fruit, and lychee syrup.

W.I.P. Café & Restaurant, Bangsar G111, Ground Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre, No. 285, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +60 3-2094 1789

4
Heli Lounge Bar

Heli Lounge Bar transforms a fully functional helipad by day into one of the city’s coolest rooftop bars by night. Take the lift up to the 34th floor and it’ll lead you to a nightclub area, which has a distinctive black and white chessboard flooring. And if you ask nicely, attendants will guide you to a series of stairs that’ll take you on the helipad bar, where you can catch a nice view of the Sunday setting in the concrete jungle. Aside from DJs and killer views, this lounge bar is also known for serving potent Strawberritini (strawberry martini) and Appletinis  (apple martini) for RM36 each. Try their Bond Martini for some extra dry and crisp martini with a little taste of lime.

Heli Lounge BarLevel 37, Menara KH, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603-2110 5034

5
Sky Bar Kuala Lumpur

It may not be a nightclub, but this bar on the 33rd floor of Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur sure is one of the best places to party in the city. Drop by either Friday or Saturday and you won’t be compelled to look for a second or third place to hang out because it’s opened until 3 am! They offer the smoothest classic martinis (RM43) that can be served with either Tanquerray gin or Belvedere vodka (depending on how tough your day went) base with dry vermouth. Other options include French Martini (Belvedere vodka mixed with Chombord liquer and pineapple syrup), and Manhattan martini (sweet Rosso vermouth, Jim Bean bourbon, orange zest and garnished with maraschino cherry).

Sky Bar Kuala Lumpur,  Level 33, Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603-2332 9888