Cocktails served in Steelite International's Bormioli Rocco glasses
Adrienne Byard from Saxon + Parole pouring The All-American with Dickel 12-year
Bormioli Rocco Cortina glasses provided by Steelite International
Duane Fernandez Jr. from American Whiskey pouring a Kentucky Buck with Bulleit Bourbon
Bormioli Rocco glasses provided by Steelite International
Appetizers served in Bormioli Rocco Fido Jars provided by Steelite International
Day 2 of the 8th Annual International Chefs Congress ended on a high note with Congress Cocktail. As the workshops wrapped up, the kitchen shut down, and the Main Stage took a back seat for this one evening, 10 Master mixos stepped onto the Chefs Products Fair floor and effortlessly steered their way through bottles of George Dickel, Macchu Pisco, Bulleit, and Puerto Rican rums, while the thirsty crowds eagerly waited to taste the fruits of their labor.
Theo Lieberman of Milk and Honey in New York gave an old (fashioned) favorite a bold new twist with his Bates Old Fashioned: Bulleit Bourbon with Pedro Ximénez, Coffee Syrup, and Chocolate Bitters, while Tad Carducci and Paul Tanguay of the Tippling Bros. brought not only their Booty Collins (green tea vodka, passion fruit purée, lemon juice, simple syrup, cayenne, and yohimba) to Congress Cocktail but also the Devil's Claim who's George Dickel 12-year Tennessee Whisky, cinnamon syrup, and lemon juice set the (drinking) tone of the night. Joe Raya of The Gin Joint in Charleston, South Carolina, followed suit and also chose whiskey as a base for his Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour. And for those people who missed out on his workshop Extraction for Attraction on Day 1, it was a great second chance to see Raya put his ideas and techniques in to action.
The Washington, D.C., boys didn’t disappoint either. Derek Brown of Mockingbird Hill followed up his Day 2 workshop, My Sherry Amour, by adding a healthy dose of dry Sherry to sweet Vermouth and orange bitters to give us one of our favorites of the night, the Adonis. And Juan Coronado of minibar by josé andrés took all the magical madness of his workshop on craft cocktails and put it in a glass with reposado tequila, lime, agave, maraschino, curacao, and matcha green tea.
Clinton Terry, who came all the way from Nantucket with a porron that later took the after-party at Toro by storm, dazzled at cocktail hour, as well. We mucho gustoed his Mucho Gusto, which combined Don Q Cristal rum with cava and had more than our fair share of the Por Mi Amor: a spirited drink with Pisco Porton, kaffir bitters, and ginger beer.
But it was the ladies behind the bar, who stole the show. Audrey Saunders, a true veteran of cocktail culture used Bacardi 8-year rum and sweet vermouth with mint, lime, simple syrup, and bitters for her Old Cuban, which went down (almost too) easily, and Karin Stanley (though absent) sent in her team to make the Tritter Rickey—what’s not to like about gin and absinthe shaken together with lime juice, simple, and club soda? However, it was Meaghan Dorman and her Andean Dusk (Macchu Pisco, red grapes, lemon, simple syrup, and rosé Champagne) that gave us a gloriously gulpable glass and made cocktail hour a truly happy hour.
Photos by: Anna Beeke, Clay Williams, Ellen Wolff, Ester Soligue, John Keon, Ken Goodman, Laura Thompson, Mark Kohlman, and Shannon Sturgis