It’s time to put the spook in our sips!
The Craft Spirit of Poe, presented by Les Dames d’Escoffier, is a fundraiser to provide scholarship and grant programs for women in the food, beverage and hospitality industries. Earlier this month, the best of DC’s bartenders came together to compete for the coveted “Poe Prize” as four judges were given the scarily difficult task of tasting and judging 12 featured cocktails based on themes from Edgar Allan Poe’s literary works.
The cocktails created that evening were imaginative indeed. Take, for example, the “Pit and Pendulum” cocktail, dreamt up by Masseria’s Julien-Pierre, which featured a potato vodka with lemon juice and angostura bitters. Where is the Pit and Pendulum? Julien-Pierre used stone fruit pits, cooked them to make a syrup … and then swung the syrup as a pendulum over the cocktails. It may have been a mess to watch, but it was an entertaining show!
Other bartenders decided to “torture” everyone’s taste buds with “madness” through a unique combination of flavors. Brian Nixon’s “The Scarlet Stain” featured a rum cocktail that provided a refreshing citrus with a chocolate coffee finish. Next to him was Lukus Smith from Jack Rose who created “Edar Allan Nee Poe,” which was inspired by the contradictions and misunderstandings of Poe’s life. Lukus’ cocktail evolved before the judges’ eyes, as his concoction changed flavors through the use of lemongrass and bergamot essence.
If all that wasn’t enough, the main event on October 6th also featured small bites, a game of JeoPOEdy and a chance to create your own Haiku POE-m with the help of Haiku masters. The audience was given a chance to vote for their favorite cocktails for the “People’s Choice Poe-letariate Award,” but in truth, all of the options were bewitching.