The RX Cocktail Competition: A Culinary vs. Canvas Bar Fight

“My cocktail [above] is the ‘Poison Apple,’ a delightfully deadly mix of 10-year-old Talisker single malt Scotch, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, and peach bitters over smoked apple ice with a garnish of smoked pork belly,” tempts food writer Nevin Martel, describing his personal concoction in the third installment of the Renaissance Dupont Circle’s RX Cocktail Competition, which returns to M Bar & Lounge through December 31.

This flight is specially crafted by master mixologists Ari and Micah Wilder for Diageo, with inspiration from the individual tastes, favorite flavors and style of local notable Washingtonians — like Martel and ArtJamz Founder Michael Clements — two of the competitions’ five muse participants.

Image from Clements’ FB page

“They asked me questions about my background and experiences [to create the cocktail],” explained Clements, whose “Genki” was made with Yamizake 12 year, Lemon Gomme, and absinthe: a crafty Japanese-themed drink to reflect Clements’ former residence and interest in Japan paired with his artistic side.  “It looks like happiness in a glass.”

Drawing on his culinary prowess, it was Martel’s first time as a mixologist’s muse, as well.  “Considering no band has ever written a song about Nevin that I could claim as my own, a craft cocktail in my honor is the next best thing,” he joked.

And with 100% of proceeds benefitting the Children’s Miracle Network — and the  Renaissance Hotel matching the donation for the most ordered RX Cocktail — each of the men is hoping his will become the bartender’s most popular pour.

“It’s not often that you get your pork fix and your booze quotient simultaneously,” quipped the food friendly Martel, whose strong understanding of seasonal flavors points the Poison Apple toward perfection.  Plus, “It should be the perfect pick-me-up on blustery late fall days. “
But Clements is convinced that his use of absinthe will put his pour over the top.  “As one of the other cocktail muses lamented when they saw the Genki‘s ingredients, “It’s like bringing a gun to a knife fight.” (Their drink had ginger beer.)”  And then to add some historical perspective, “Some of the most famous drinkers in history were artists — it’s in our blood. Literally.”
But in the end, you decide.  Renaissance’s RX Cocktail Competition continues at the Hotel’s Dupont Circle location through the end of 2012.

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