Contests, Events and More

Dust off that double cassis bottle! Mintel, a leading market research company, predicts the hot new flavors of 2010 will include cassis, persimmon, star fruit, lavender, cardamom, cinnamon and chai.

Last week, New Orleans bartender Ricky Gomez grabbed a $10,000 prize in the DeKuyper MixMasters National Challenge held in New Orleans at the Republic. He took top honors from both the judges and the public, beating out 11 other finalists from across the U.S.

Woodford Reserve’s national search for a new Manhattan wound up in New York this week, with eight bartenders displaying their versions of the classic. The high level of the judges — master distiller Chris Morris, Aureole chef Chris Lee, Clover Club’s Julie Reiner — was brought down when they added me, but we all agreed on the winner, Jeromy Edwards from Louisville, Ky., whose Cider Manhattan worked best. People may cry the fix was in, but three of the four judges are Brooklynites, so there. My close second was the White Limo Manhattan from Washington, D.C.’s Owen Thomson.

Eleven bartenders made the finals in the Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition, to be held Nov. 22. Uber judge Doug Frost heads up the deciding panel, along with David Wondrich and local restaurateur Ryan Maybee.

Speaking of New Orleans, Tales of the Cocktail doesn’t end when the French Quarter streets are swept each July: coming up is Tales of the Toddy, presented by Tales at the W Hotel in New Orleans on Dec. 10. New Orleans bartenders, including Chris Hannah from Arnaud’s, Cole Newton from Coquette, Lisa Nahay from Whiskey Blue, Marvin Allen from the Carousel Bar, Michael Glassberg from Domenica and Neal Bodenheimer from Cure, will be whipping up some yuletide Toddies, eggnogs, punches and Champagne drinks. The event will benefit the New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides low cost medical care for the city’s musicians. Tales of the Toddy tickets are on sale here.

And speaking of the Museum of the American Cocktail, above-mentioned busy fellow Derek Brown and Phil Greene of the Museum will mark the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the Daiquiri by U.S. Navy Admiral Lucius Johnson to the United States at the Army-Navy Club in Washington, D.C., with a seminar and demo at D.C.’s famed Occidental Grill restaurant Nov. 19. Brown and Greene will be joined by Tiki expert Jeff "Beachbum" Berry and local mixologist Jon Arroyo, head barman at Farmers and Fishers (formerly Agraria) and Founding Farmers. Register here.


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