Drink Competitions and Events

Finals of the Benedictine cocktail competition are being held this week in New York. Finalists are Jackson Cannon of Eastern Standard (Boston), Damon Dyer of Louis 649 (New York), Lynn House of Graham Elliot (Chicago), Brandon Clements of Spruce (San Francisco) and Daniel Victory of The Ritz-Carlton (New Orleans). All finalists will present their concoctions to Benedictine's Global Brand Ambassador, Ludovic Miazga, and Esquire drinks correspondent David Wondrich. The regional finalists were all featured in a recipe booklet printed in the January issue of Esquire, while the winner will receive a solo spread in the March issue, along with the distinction of having created Benedictine's official 500th Anniversary cocktail.

The Museum of the American Cocktail starts off its 2010 event schedule with Tad Carlucci, co-founder of Tippling Brothers, at the Museum in New Orleans Feb. 1 with a historical look at the spice trade and how those sought-after ingredients worked their way into spirits, liqueurs and, ultimately, cocktail ingredients. Cocktail demonstrations will include practical ways to use spice, including chiles.

Tad Carlucci

“Which hangover cures really work?” I say chicken galanga soup and a Singha — if not, the combo of reheated pizza and Pepsi. In either case, follow with sauna and a nap. But the San Francisco Exploratorium is checking into that and other more sublime questions of mixology in its “Science of Cocktails” Jan. 20. There speakers will present the artistry of master mixology with the science behind the craft. The one-time event will take an in-depth look at the physics, chemistry and biology of cocktails. Guest bartenders from Alembic, 15 Romolo, 83 Proof, Orson, B, Annabelle’s Bistro, Heaven’s Dog and more are scheduled to participate. Mixologists are encouraged to visit the Exploratorium's recipes and experiments page for some cocktail fun for the neophyte.

Lucy Brennan of Mint and 820 leads the judging for the Portland area mixologist’s shaker showdown at the second Jupiter Hotel’s Iron Bartender competition. The event benefits the Children’s Relief Nursery and will be held Thursday, Jan. 21. The mix-off includes a secret ingredient revealed the night of the event. Event guests will vote for the “People’s Choice” award. Participating mixologists include Neil Kopplin of Clyde Common, Dave Shenaut of Teardrop Lounge, Jacob Grier of Carlyle Restaurant and Evan Zimmerman of Laurelhurst Market. The winning cocktail recipe will be featured at the Children’s Relief Nursery’s signature fundraising event.

Check in with saloon artist Jill DeGroff and dozens of characters from Lush Life for the opening of her exhibit. “Portraits From the Bar,” Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. at Sunny’s Bar in Red Hook, Brooklyn, N.Y. Hubby Dale will be mixing the drinks. RSVP to [email protected].

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