For many social drinkers, the environment they’re embedded in as they imbibe is almost as important as the quality and price of the actual drink.

Sometimes a rowdy sports bar on game day is a great place to be, where you can commiserate with your fellow perpetually disappointed fans (assuming you’re watching the Browns). For younger drinkers, the local bar that transforms into a sweaty meat market on weekend nights, blaring contemporary music and packed with equally hormonal recent adults on the prowl, can feel like a social oasis.

For folks who enjoy a calm but still lively experience, in an environment that doesn’t leave you wondering if you’re bringing home a communicable disease on the weirdly sticky soles of your shoes, try the Martini Lounge in Canton.

The Martini Lounge (formerly Picciano’s), as you may have surmised from its moniker, specializes in fancy $12 martinis using top-shelf liquor and ingredients that few folks keep in their home bar, such as Peychaud Bitters and Frangelico.

As it’s not a super-fancy capital-C “Crafted” cocktail bar, the bartender isn’t going to put on a mini-show with dry ice, flaming orange peels or other mixologist flair. But our bartender, Samantha Martelli, was cucumber-cool, friendly and knowledgeable, and she definitely helped set the relaxed adult vibe of the place.

The bar, which has existed for about nine years, had a recent change of ownership and a remodel early this year. It’s relatively small, longer than it is wide, with high ceilings, warm lighting and a nice marble bar. The opposite wall is dotted with several high tables, not so close together that you’re slapping shoulder blades with the folks at the next table.

The vibe is cool, the walls aren’t covered in faded ’80s liquor-industry promo items (not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that), there are a couple of unobtrusive TV screens, and overall the bar has what my drink mate called “the feel of a good hotel bar.” There is a jukebox in the back and small cozy patio with a few tables that overlooks the back parking lot.

Back to the booze. My Sazerac (Knob Creek rye whiskey, bitters, absinthe) was made well, strong enough for me to remember I’m drinking whiskey without punching me in the tongue. My guest’s Dirty Banana (a bunch of stuff including dark rum, Kahlua, ice cream and a chocolate swirl) looked and tasted like a yummy, adult milkshake.

There’s a small selection of wines for about $7 per glass, and a modest menu of shareable eats including jumbo shrimp cocktail, and grape leaves stuffed with herb-seasoned basmati rice; bothwere quite good for $6-$15. The bar plans to expand the food menu and start a wine-tasting night in the coming months.

Yvonne and Corey Cheek were sitting in the window table (aka “their corner”) with some friends enjoying an early evening of drinking and a good hang.

“I like the lighting, the atmosphere, the people are friendly, and I like to come down and see the live bands,” the lady Cheek said. On most Thursdays and Saturdays, Martini Lounge plays host to local music acts.

The couple has been coming to Martini Lounge for about three years. “It’s in the heart of downtown, so you can go eat, walk around or whatever,” Corey Cheek said.

Aside from the access to other downtown spots, the Cheeks enjoy the mature environment. “It’s an older crowd, you don’t have to worry about kids acting foolish,” Yvonne Cheek said.

“Grown and sexy, that’s what I like. I can’t deal with the young folks,” she continued. “I’m too old to be dodging beer bottles and stuff. These kids nowadays don’t know how to party like we did. They want to shoot and do all that.”

It’s very unlikely there’ll be anyone shooting anything at Martini Lounge, beyond whatever they prefer to inhale out of a shot glass.

People looking for a cool, friendly, mature environment in which to spend an evening, night, or an “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!” afternoon downing well-made beverages should consider adding the Martini Lounge to their list.

Malcolm X Abram can be reached at mabram@thebeaconjournal.com or 330-996-3758. Follow him on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1lNgxml or on Twitter @malcolmabramABJ.