Craft Cocktail Award | Feast Awards 2015

“It’s definitely our signature drink,” Nick Margaritakis II said about the blueberry martini at Sparta Steak House & Lounge, a Canton landmark with a retro vibe and cocktail menu to match.

cocktail“It’s definitely our signature drink,” Nick Margaritakis II said about the blueberry martini at Sparta Steak House & Lounge, a Canton landmark with a retro vibe and cocktail menu to match.

Margaritakis, the owner and bartender at Sparta, lets fresh blueberries marinate in vodka for two weeks, infusing the liquor with color and flavor.

The resulting martini, which sells for $7, is a heavenly concoction—sweet, potent and served with three intense vodka-soaked berries on a plastic skewer. No wonder it’s so popular.

“I’ve created a lot of martini drinks,” Margaritakis said. “This one satisfies males and females.” Using the same vodka, he makes blueberry mojitos with fresh mint. He also speaks proudly of his cucumber mint mojito martini.

A mainstay at the Sparta for decades has been the vintage paper placemats covered with classic old-school cocktails. Gin Ricky, anyone?

“You name it, I’ve made it—Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Tom Collins, Singapore Sling,” said Margaritakis. “I make a Grecian Lady, which is a gin sour with orange and pineapple juices and sloe gin for color.”

Sparta Steak House & Lounge

1101 12th St. NW, Canton
5 to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and
5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday
330-454-6343
Facebook.com/SpartaSteakhouseandLounge

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Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass