May 5th, 2008

Dexter & Stagg
  • tmfiii

A Scofflaw Crashes a Cocktail Compeition (Part 2)

Last Tuesday at the Hotel Helix, the top ten semi-finalists for their Spring/Summer cocktail competition met for a no-holds-barred cage match to the finish . . . well maybe not, but here the the exciting conclusion of the cocktail competition.  (You can read the first portion Here.)

It turns out that there were over 140 entries in the competition.  Already I felt pretty good about being in the top ten.  They ran the competiton like "American Idol."  As one competitor was in front of "Not-Randy," "Not-Paula" and "Not-Simon" (and let's not forget "Not-Ryan") the next contestant worked with the bartenders to make your drink to go before the judges.  

Well, long story short, I came in fourth!  I talked with the judges afterward (the judges were actually the Assistant GM, the Food & Beverage Manager and the Bar Manager) and learned that I lost by 3/10ths of a point.  Boo!!!  AJ, the Food & Bev Mgr., said that he really liked the execution of my drink and enjoyed the flavors.  Angie, the Bar Manager, said that she knew my drink was in the top 10 simply from the recipe - it had the flavors, and used gin - something missing from the menu, that she loved.   Two quick notes: 1) Most of the drinks in the top ten were incredibly sweet and vodka based.  B) The bartenders rushed through the muddling on my drink and short changed the simple syrup a touch.  The resulting drink came out much dryer with less "fresh strawberry" flavor. 

And while I didn't make the top 3, I think my "consolation prize" is much better.  Angie said that she loved my drink so much that it would probably still make its way on the Spring/Summer menu.  Then she asked, if I didn't mind, if she could contact me later in the summer and consult on the Fall Cocktail menu!!!  Wooo-Hooo!  

(Now, realistically, I wonder whether or not I'll actually get an email.  But at that moment, it was still nice being recognized as someone who has some knowledge of what he's doing - enough to get asked for help.  Maybe a moral victory, but I'll take it!)

Along with that cool little turn of events, everyone at Hotel Helix were super nice and friendly and they seem to really want to make their bar program a destination for DC drinkers, not just hotel guests.  It was a fun evening and I'm certainly glad I participated and got to meet everyone.



Support the Museum of the American Cocktail

I'm on Zagat's mailing list, probably because I filled out a survey or something for them.  I tend to glance over their e-mails but not pay much attention to them.

As you've seen, I noticed they had an article on shochu recently.  In that same e-mail, they mentioned that Proof was hosting a benefit for the Museum of the American Cocktail.

Basically, there will be five specialty cocktails and hor d'oeuvres served at first, followed by five more dishes each with a special cocktail of its own.  There will be a number of the big names in DC's cocktail community there, such as Adam Bernbach of Bar Pilar, Derek Brown of Komi, Tom Brown of Cork, Gina Chersevani of EatBar, Justin Guthrie of Central, John Hogan of Hudson, Todd Thrasher of Restaurant Eve, Chantal Tseng of Tabard Inn, Rico Wisnor of Poste , and Sebastian Zutant of Proof.


Excited, we - that is, Marshall and I - put in for our tickets and got them.  It's a bit expensive, but I've paid nearly that much for wine dinners before and this looks like a lot more fun to me.  In addition, it looks like a great chance to meet some amazing mixologists!

I'm excited as heck about this event, even if it means I'm missing another meeting that I'd really like to go to that night.  If you're in the DC area, you should try to go.

And as I recover from my long weekend - and the excursion to see the Nationals play yesterday, helped out a lot by the fact that they served Stella Artois near my section - I realize it's Cinco de Mayo, and I've got a buddy of mine coming in tonight for dinner...

a Batavia Arrack drink

While watching "Great Cocktails" from my DVR and working on Cathy's virus-laden computer I got a beer from the kegerator (a Dogfish Head Shelter Pale Ale) and whaddyaknow, the keg died.

Time to make a drink.  A Pimm's Cup and Fever Tree ginger ale wasn't bad but I wanted one more.

A while ago someone responded to a post I had talking about Batavia Arrack and suggested a drink.  It was equal parts Batavia Arrack and lime juice with 3-4 oz. of ginger ale or ginger beer.

Whomever the friendly anonymous commenter was (I'm guessing Joe), he (or she) didn't say how much of the Arrack and lime juice, so I went ahead and put two ounces of each into my collins glass.  I filled the rest up with some Bundaberg diet ginger beer.

(Why diet?  Because it's the only ginger beer I have that has a resealable cap.)

My - that's a tasty drink!  I probably should've gone with a bit less of the arrack and lime juice but I've topped mine off with the ginger beer as I drink it.

It's a very interesting drink.

This month's MxMo is rum; good thing our good friend dan_oz is coming up!