Artini (or #ARTINI as apparently everything now has a hashtag before it) is the annual gathering at the Cororan Museum hosted by the 1869 Society. Basically, young, trendy art crowd meets DC scene to raise money around special cocktails from DC’s hottest mixologists. There is nothing inherently wrong with any of this. However after reading “An Open Letter to Artini” from the Bitches Who Brunch, I found myself less than excited to attend. But hey, there was art, and alcohol, and why not.
Experts present for this year’s ARTINI included mixologists from: Ambar, Bandolero, Daikaya, The Gibson, Jack Rose, The Passenger, P.O.V., and Zentan.
Inside the beautiful Corcoran Museum, the crowds were manageable and the lines moved rather smoothly. Except when they didn’t and there was basically a stop. As to be expected, however some of the clustering could have been prevented by allowing mixolgoists to set up on the top level as well. And much of the stopage was due to cups and serving items needing to be replenished. Which, given the piles of used dishes and other cocktails stacked up on the tables around, that was not surprising. However, this was as to be expected from an event such as this. There were some finger foods available, which unfortunately chilled rather rapidly.
But hey, it’s about the drinks right, and the drinks were…present, and…interesting. Everyone’s palate differs, so I’ll leave the judgement to others.
Below is the start of a drink created by Amy Russell, Jack Rose. There was, what appeared to be, blades of grass involved.
This is the end product (below). A “Verdant Passion” 1.5 oz Mezcal Benevá – Joven 1.5 oz of vegetable juice containing kale, apple, spinach, ginger, romaine, cucumber, celery, parsley, and lemon .25 oz honey syrup 2 drops pür•spirits authentic elderflower liqueur. It was a bit bitter on the palate, well, on my palate. I placed it on a “Just Say No” vintage anti-drug use board game case. I said “no” to seconds.
Moving on. Next up I tried the “First Impressions” 1.5 oz Heavenly Spirits Eau de Vie Poire 1.5 oz TBD Marie Duffau Armagnac Napoleon 1.5 oz TBD St. Germain Elderflower liquor Pear Juice Lemon Juice Grade B Maple Syrup Chervil Foam Dehydrated Meringue. Created by Joe Ambrose, P.O.V. Not bad, a bit strong.
After finding somewhere to set my last drink – which is like playing Jenga on a tabletop with glass – my favorite beverage served was this one. “Hineri’s Mark” Dark layer: 1.5oz Few Spirits Rye 0.5oz Tempus Fugit Dark Creme de Cacao 0.25oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao light dash of Tabasco sauce Light layer: Dissolve 3 leaves of gelatin in 24 oz. Marie Duffau Armagnac Napoleon. Then add 6oz orgeat syrup. Mix well, chill, load into an iSi siphon, and charge with CO2. Created by Eddi Kim, Daikaya.
This “Few” brand of rye is amazing. I bought a bottle on the spot. You can too at Potenza liquor store downtown. It’s worth it.
And hey, if you don’t like liquor, they provided other beverages. Offers consisted of an interesting pairing of Stella, Peroni, Natural Light (in a can – which being from NC I appreciate, I guess ironic art folks do too), Moscato (gross), and another wine and beer option.
But hey they had plenty of water which was good.
And the patrons seemed to be enjoying themselves.
So that was good as well.
Adam Sackett and Frank Jones from the Gibson won the Critics’ Choice award for their FEW rye whiskey martini (see, buy this stuff). Money raised go toward a series of contemporary art exhibitions at the museum called NOW.
Hey, I support art, and I support interesting and new cocktails. So supporting local mixologists and their restaurants, while supporting art, is a good night to me. And hey, Bucket List #492, “Drinking a Natty Light in the Corcoran” is now crossed off my list.