Monday, September 24, 2012

And Now For Some Cocktail News . . .

Sable mixologist Alex Renshaw at Untitled on Sunday after his big Cointreau win. (Photos: Jeff Schear/Wire Image)

Remy Cointreau had its regional finals in Chicago Sunday to select one mixologist to go to New York to compete in the first-ever The Audition Event. The winner will serve as Cointreau Ambassador of Libations at Cannes Film Festival in 2013.

Held at speakeasy-style restaurant and lounge Untitled, the contest featured five Chicago-based bartenders and one from Michigan. The event was twofold: Earlier in the evening, guests and judges did a walk-around tasting of the contestants' Saint-Tropez-themed cocktails, followed by an "Iron Chef"-style competition where bartenders were challenged to create a cocktail using a secret ingredient.

So fitting was the secret ingredient "honey" as September just happens to be National Honey Month! Sable Kitchen & Bar 'tender Alex Renshaw was the judges' overall favorite, so he's on his way to the Big Apple. Ada Street's Joseph Haggard was named "fan favorite."

Joseph Haggard of Ada Street was the "fan favorite" of the night.

Here are Renshaw's cocktails:

Black Operations

1.5 oz Black Grouse
3/4 fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz honey
1 oz Cointreau
4 cubes muddled pineapple
1 dash Angostura bitters
Glass: rocks with ice. Garnish: pineapple leaf.

Without Permission

1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Cynar
5 1/2 oz ginger ale
Build Cointreau and Cynar in Collins glass, add Kold-Draft cubes and fill with ginger ale. Garnish with bruised mint sprig.

Also red-hot right now:

● Tickets for Next's highly anticipated Kyoto menu are long gone, but you'll be able to check it out in liquid form. Beginning Thursday, over at the adjacent The Aviary, Charles Joly will launch a four-course Kyoto cocktail flight featuring some offbeat concoctions people will be talking about for awhile. Look also for a few new fall additions to the menu.

● Uh-oh. This totally sounds like trouble. Also going down this week will be two nights of Hendrick's gin-soaked fun. Happening at Salvage One (1840 W. Hubbard St.), Voyages Into the Unusual will feature a variety of spiked punches infused with Hum liqueur, local peach tea from Rare Tea Cellars and seasonal Michigan peaches. Entertainment includes a botanist who will demystify the 11 botanicals within the Hendrick's bottle, a chemist who will take you into the apothecary shop and some wacky performers. RSVP right here for entry 7-10pm Sept. 26 or Sept. 27 and call in sick the day after.

● And Gold Coast newcomer Hash House A Go Go introduces Johnny's Famous B.L.T. Mary, which is half drink, half meal. It comes in a chilled 20-ounce glass with a bacon and salt rim, house-made Mary mix and vodka, all trimmed with a fresh tomato wheel, smoked bacon slice, rib of lettuce and white toast.

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