Friday, May 5, 2006

Martini Mix-off ~ Day 5

Last Friday was the big mix off event! We still had a few tickets so we decided to get an early start. We met at the Reef for our first round.

We were greeted by Peter; turns out we met Peter at an earlier stop at Red Feather and he more than remembered us!

Eric and I went with the Exoverboard. A blend of Martin Miller Gin and Cointreau garnished with an orange twist.

Christi went with the Tangerine Rangoon- Plymouth gin, honey, tangerine, lime, and cinnamon with a splash of pomegranate grenadine.

Both of these ‘tinis were very tasty. The orange in the ex balances the gin and provides it with a tasty citrus flavor. It was smooth and crisp and too drinkable. The Rangoon was slushy and had a distinct cinnamon essence to it. We could have had another of each but we had a long night of drinking ahead of us. so off to Koi we went.

Peyton greeted us at the bar of Koi. The bar was small and felt a bit cramped, but close to the windows allowed us some people watching.

Eric and I went with the Koi Classic~ Absolut Vodka and Sake. It was tasty but not like a classic martini. We definitely could taste the Sake and it took Eric a long time to drink his (that rarely happens!).

Christi enjoyed the Lemonchello martini. I only was able to discern that Lemonchello and Razzmatazz were ingredients but was unable to get the rest. This ‘tini was really yummy but it reminded me of a cosmo or something similar. It didn’t stand out from the rest but I definitely would order it again.

Our bartender was swamped the whole time and we never were able to receive the one-on-one we love so much (no fault of hers).

Off we were to the Art Museum for the big event. I called in the morning to confirm the time 7- at least 11. We arrived at 8. They were out of goody bags, food, and almost out of martini glasses. It didn’t appear that many people were there either. We tried to get our favorite martini but that wasn’t an option either. They had a couple of bars set up with bartenders making the normal fare. The event didn’t seem well organized and we were pretty disappointed. So we had our drink, we said hello to our favorite bartenders, and off we went. I suppose this goes back to Eric’s earlier quote I’ve decided I don’t like martinis south of Front Street.

After a brief viewing of WWE folks leaving the Grove Hotel, we popped into one of our favorite hangouts- Gernika- where Triton and Michael took great care of us. Perfect way to end the evening.

Peter: I guess I don’t know last names
Eric: maybe I’m thinking of the cucumber
Eric: that’s big
Eric: mines loose
Kristi: He did say something about squeeze it a little harder.
Kristi: touch it there. Right there.
Triton: I’m easy
Kristi: I must have spread right
Eric: He had the cutest little ass
Kristi: He wouldn’t do it
Kristi: they got me in and out
Kristi: It’s hard for me to do it myself
Eric: I’m drunk
Eric: you pounced upon my leg
Christi: I’m going to sit on my arm tonight
Kristi: Remember, I’m kind of a guy
Eric: I’m dripping. but I am

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Martini Mix-off ~ Day 4

Last Thursday marked round 4 of the Martini tour. We are beginning to feel the effects and are slowing down the pace.

We began at Happy Fish. Margie joined us at this stop! Cory was our bartender and mixed us up an Effen Martini and an Asian Persuasion. Eric and I went with the Effen, while Margie tried the Persuasion. Christi tried the unnamed martini that will make it to the finals.

I liked the Effen as it was made with Vodka. Finally a martini made with vodka!!! It was a simple take on the classic with vodka and Lillet Blanc, Kalamata olives for garnish. I found it to be crisp and light, easy to drink. Eric wasnt a big fan but then he likes that piney gin taste.

The Asian Persuasion was made with Ruby Red Absolut, Ruby Red Grapefruit juice, and Lychee syrup, with a Lychee garnish. It was refreshing and reminded Margie of summer. It actually only had a mild grapefruit flavor. It was very tasty.

The unnamed was made of Sake and Midori. It was smooth and melony with the look of antifreeze.

Stop 2 Thursday was at Ha' Penny. We didn’t have to stumble too far for this one.

Here, Dustin was creating the Dirty Plymouth and Orange Cream Dream. Eric and I went dirty; Christi went dreamy; Margie went home!

The classic was quite tasty with the Plymouth and the olive juice. I am a big fan of the dirty martini and finished off with the garlic stuffed olive encouraged me to sip away.

The Orange Cream Dream was nice but not Christi’s favorite. It had Vanilla Absolut, Cointreau, orange peel, and sweet and sour.

We ventured off to Bittercreek after that and chatted with bartender Michael while the storm passed. It was pouring rain outside so we had to have a beer!

Eric: I’ve decided, I’m not a fan of martinis south of Front Street
Eric: Ill get it down, but its rough
Christi: It was better than I expected
Table close by: Were just really cheap like that
Eric: I have a stud finder
Eric: I’m here to be the butt
Eric: I don’t think he is that hot
Eric: I think that is the only dirty tool I own
Christi: you might want to try it on your sore muscle

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Martini Mix-off ~ Day 3

Saturday marked our 3rd martini adventure! We got off to a late start as we all had busy days and I had just gotten in from the east coast. But nevertheless we persevered and tackled our duties with great thirst.

We met up at Piper Pub and found stools at the bar. Erik was our bartender at this stop and rattled off our choices but not with the same enthusiasm as our other stops but he was cute so I let that slide a bit.

Eric and I went with the classic like always; Christi ordered up the Summer Breeze.

This classic was made with a new gin- Quintessential and King Eider Vermouth, shaken, and garnished with Blue Cheese stuffed olives. This gin had similar qualities to the Plymouth gin and was easy to drink, not overly powered by pine. This one ranks number 3 on my list so far but number 2 on Eric’s list (close to number 1).

The Summer Breeze was made of cucumber and honeydew infused Level Vodka, served with a cucumber slice garnish. This was crisp, light, refreshing, and very easy to drink. It had only a slight taste of fruit and not much else. I thought it was good but we all agreed that it was rather boring. Perhaps adding some herb, like lemon thyme or lemongrass, would make it a little better?

As we were picking apart the martinis, Erik the bartender tried to redeem his earlier inactions by offering me more blue cheese stuffed olives. I think it worked.

Mai Thai was our next stop. Sasha was our bartender but we quickly started calling her Shasha (not sure if she liked that much, but we were having fun).

The classic, 10 Below, was a mixture of Tanqueray 10 and Noilly Prat Vermouth, shaken and poured over dry ice to sit for a moment, garnished with jalapeño stuffed olives. This one reminded me that I still don’t like gin. It had a very piney taste that overpowered the drink for me. The olives were quite tasty.

The Crimson Café was Christi’s choice. This concoction was made with Starbucks Liquor, cognac, and Razzmataz. It had a scent of raspberries and a coffee flavor. It was fair.

At this point we were ready to move on to Koi but they had closed so we headed to Red Feather. Here we just ordered up miscellaneous drinks and joked with Bartender Kevin. It also appears that we gathered more quotes than notes on this fine evening. Some are good!

Kristi~ it needs to be organic!
Larry~ Can I lip it?
Casey~Ew, that comes out frothy
Eric~ you need a 1-900 #
Eric~ oh, I would call !
Eric for your entertainment
Eric~ I was outstanding in the field
Christi~ there was a Kevin, right?
Christi (with eyebrows raised)~ Do you want me to take the bottom or top?
Eric~ Swiss guys are HOT
Kristi~ I got poked
Eric~ I like that a lot
Kristi~ You just sprayed me
Christi~ Licked it and winked at me
Kevin~ What I have decided about you, is you are difficult to please.
Kevin~ He works it
Christi~ Is he always like this?
Kristi~ Hes been around
Eric~ *He* was definitely not my type.but he wasn't
Christi~ Ill just sleep
Eric~ She seemed to breath; that is my type
Eric~ He sounds too huge for me

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Martini Mix-off ~ Day 2

Saturday was great fun. Although we didn't have the anecdotes and quips that Kevin provided on day one, we were still tantalized by great humor and plenty of eye candy.

Eric and I started at Bardenay and convinced Christi H. to join in on the fun. Who will be our next recruit??? (We thought we had a chance with Tom F. when he entered the restaurant but no luck this time!)

Bardenay's entries this year are the Chaitini and the Bardenay Bond. We are allowed to order any martini on the menu but we have decided we want to stick with the entries. All three of us decided to go with the Bond. Christi was quite brave to begin with this selection since she has never had a martini before!

The BB is made with Bardenay Gin, Bardenay Vodka, and Lillet Blanc. Our bartenders Sean and Andrew shook these up for us while we made jokes with them. We had a choice of garnish- Eric went with the Basque Olives, Christi chose the basic olive, and I went with the blue cheese stuffed olive. All were quite tasty and we all decided better than the martini itself. I personally am not a huge fan of Bardenay’s vodka. It has a weird taste to it when vodka shouldn’t really have any flavor. This martini had several overwhelming flavors and scents to it that were just not very enjoyable.

Off we went to stop number 2 of the night- Pair. Pair was serving up The Sally Tomato and The Tiffany. Eric and I, sticking with tradition, went for the Sally and Christi opted for the Tiffany. We sat at one of their swanky tables and Eric thought our server was "hot" (Christi and I didn't think so as much).

At first glance of the name, we thought the Sally Tomato would be more like a bloody mary but instead it gets its name from the garnish- roma tomato stuffed olives. It was very basic consisting of Plymouth Gin and vermouth- shaken. Now don't forget that I don't like gin but I have decided that if all gin was like Plymouth Gin, I would be a huge fan. This gin is so smooth and easy to drink (way too easy to drink), that I think I have become a convert. Eric preferred this tasty number over the 10-minute martini from Milky Way- I am not yet convinced. I believe I will need to resample that one before making any conclusions!

The Tiffany was a beautiful concoction of Pear Nutmeg, Vanilla-bean Absolut Vodka, and Pear nectar, served with a pear slice. Served with a sugared rim, this lovely concoction was fun, appealing, and looks pretty. It has a pleasant nutmeg hint to it and a slushy feel against your lips. Christi would order this beauty again.

Other thoughts of our service- the server wasn't as friendly as our other experiences and she had a bit of attitude. We ordered water at one point and she brought us a wine bottle with 3 empty glasses. She made no attempt to pour the water for us, and when I asked if that was water she responded with "uh, yeah" as though water is always served in a wine bottle.

We all headed over to Red Feather for our 3rd martini of the evening. We decided to grab a slice from Pie Hole first to cleanse the palate and provide a little sustenance before completely dousing our livers. Conveniently, there were 3 available seats at the bar by the time we made it to RF and there we remained for the next couple of hours.

Our options at RF were the Slacktrist and The Apricot Sour. (Please keep in mind that my notes at this point are becoming very difficult to read but I will do my best to interpret what I wrote). Kevin and Mark were our bartenders for this round.

Christi ordered the Apricot Sour. This frothy 'tini was tart and "dangerous". It combined Brandy, Calvados, lime juice, bitters, egg white, and a couple of things I can no longer read.

Eric and I went with the Slacktrist- Plymouth Gin, vermouth, stirred, and served naked. This martini was not as smooth as some previous martinis. I prefer my martini shaken- unless it is the 10-minute version.

I nursed this martini for the entire stop, while Eric and Christi put me to shame. They ended the RF visit with Cucumber-Ginger Mojito vs. the regular mojito- I sampled their treats. Eric and I thought the Cucumber-Ginger was quite tasty but Christi preferred the regular version.

After finishing up there, we decided our night was not over. We wandered over to Grape Escape just as Josh was closing up. Josh set us up with some tastes of 3 different wines (these tastes were basically full glasses). We downed those while he finished up then the 4 of us meandered over to Gernika for beers and pretzels. After several hours of drinking we decided at 1 that we were probably finished for the night.

Amazingly, I awakened around 7 the next morning feeling very fabulous! No hangover at all.

Hope you can make it out with the next go round- probably next Saturday. We still have the following stops to make- Piper Pub, Koi, Happy Fish, Mai Thai, Melting Pot, Ha Penny, Reef

Here are some quotes I compiled through the evening.

Christi "Eric is our token male"
Kevin "playin with my juicer"
Eric "This reminds me of Pretty in Pink"
Josh "I fuck things up and I get confused"
Eric "I do that anyway"
Christi "Lets do it while we’re drunk"
Eric "I'm fast and easy"
Eric "there is an adaptor for everything"

Monday, May 1, 2006

Martini Mix-off day 1

Monday marked the first day of the martini mix-off! So Eric and I decided “why waste time” and got started at The Milky Way.

Kevin the Bartender talked us into the 10 Minute Martini. I was a bit dubious as I do not care for gin. He poured the ingredients into the shaker and shoved them into the ice to sit for the next 10 minutes. During that time, he offered us anecdotes and quips to fill the time. He even provided us literature on the invention of this martini as well as the Plymouth gin used.

After the 10 minutes of anticipation our drinks were ready. I could definitely smell the distinct pine aroma but the first taste dispelled any ideas I once had of gin. I found the drink to be very smooth and easy to drink.

While we sat and enjoyed our lovely concoctions, friends filtered in (Greg, Tami, Brent). We were unable to talk them into joining us for more martinis, at least not that night, but we were entertained by Greg’s sax and great company.

Alas, we were off to sample another libation. We sauntered over to Tapas Estrella for martini #2. Here we were greeted by Will the bartender. He made us a Classic Martini which contained Plymouth gin, Lillet vermouth, bitters, and a dash of Cointreau, served with a twist.

This martini was good but a bit on the sweet side for my liking. It was smooth with a slight orange flavor to it. Very drinkable.

The entertainment at Tapas Estrella was quite different as it was drag queen bingo night. We were surrounded by many lively locals with bingo cards in hand. Minerva Jayne was our hostess with the mostest. I actually won the last game! A $10 gift certificate to the new clothing shop on Main- the Projectionist. Sweet!

Eric’s winner for the evening was the Classis; My winner for Monday’s martini was the 10 minute martini.

The winner for best entertainment went to Drag Queen Bingo!

“drive safe; drive deep”- Minerva Jayne