And The Results Are In……

The secret is out. Remember how I said I was attending the Nashville Lifestyles Bartender Bash on Thursday? Well, I sort of left out a bit of info- I was actually judging the competition. Yes, my first celebrity judging gig. This blogging thing has its perks!

My 2 fellow judges and I had a blast tasting 24 cocktails. Key word here is “tasting”. Please know that I did not consume 24 full cocktails, as that would be very dangerous. (although there were a few that I held on to for a little longer than necessary) Of those 24, we were tasked with the tough job of choosing only two as winners- Best Martini and Most Creative Cocktail.

And the winners were…….

Best Martini: Pear Martini by Ashley Thompson of 360 Wine Bar and Bistro
grey goose pear vodka, olive puree, blue cheese chips

Sounds like a very simple, straightforward martini right? well, it wasn’t as simple as it sounds. Ashley incorporated some molecular gastronomy, making an olive out of an olive. Without getting completely technical, let’s just say that she used all of these crazy techniques that made her olive puree form a film around itself, creating a sphere. When that little sphere hit the tongue it exploded, filling the palette with olive puree. wow!

Most Creative Cocktail: Hot & Cool by Eric Cooper of Morton’s
grey goose vodka, muddled cucumbers, st. germain, ginger beer, cayenne pepper

People’s Choice: Chocolate Basil Martini by Mike Reynolds of Sambuca
grey goose vodka, godiva dark chocolate and white chocolate, frangelico, basil simple syrup

Now for some others that really got my attention:

The Rosewater by Austin Ratliff of Lime
grey goose citron, honey, rosemary water, splash of lemon, garnished with sugar cane

(this one was actually THE toughest decision. Too bad we couldn’t give out 2 awards for Most Creative Cocktail)

Umami Martini by Christopher Krantz of Rumba
grey goose vodka and domaine de canton sprinkled with cayenne and cinnamon, garnished with ginger gelee and deep fried pear wedge

Dirty Geisha by Grit Greer of The Palm
grey goose vodka, kosher salt, soy sauce, pickled ginger juice, wasabi salt rim, garnished with cucumber and radish

Fuji Apple Saketini by Jamey DeRusha of Virago
grey goose pear vodka, pear juice, sparkling sake, garnished with asian apple slice

Blueberry Pumpkin Martini by DW Clarke of Eastland Cafe
grey goose citron, muddled blueberries, shakka red apple, pumpkin smash, lemon squeeze, orange squeeze

Please let me offer my apologies to all of you bartenders if I left out any ingredients in your fabulous drinks. As you can imagine, taking notes while consuming 24 cocktails can result in some interesting language. As in, I thought I was writing in English at the time, but now looking back, I think maybe I was practicing my Mandarin. Next time I think I’ll ask for a secretary.

Photo Credit: Please have a martini or three by A-Wix