On Wednesday, February 27th (i.e. two nights ago), Limpd and I attended the American Spirits Bartender Competition at the Stratus Rooftop Lounge which is located on the top floor of the Hotel Monaco in Old City Philadelphia. This event was sponsored by the National Constitution Center as part of their current exhibition, American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, and featured 1920’s inspired cocktails made by four different bartenders from four different Center City Philadelphia hotels.
Much like in an Iron Chef competition, each bartender was required to incorporate one specific ingredient into each of their cocktail creations. For this particular competition, the required ingredient was Bluecoat Gin which just happens to be distilled in Philadelphia and which was also a sponsor of the event.
Below are the names of the host, judges, and bartenders that participated in this event:
- Event Emcee – Kacie McDonnell,Fox 29’s Good Day Philadelphia Traffic Reporter.
- Judges – Laura Burkhardt, Where Magazine; Marisa Magnatta, WMMR’s Preston and Steve Morning Show; Maria Papadakis, host of Out and About on Philly.com; and Brian Sims, PA State Representative.
- Bartenders – Stephen Diaz of 10 Arts, The Ritz Carlton Hotel; Nate Churchill of XIX, Hyatt At The Bellevue; Chauncey Scates of Square 1682, Palomar Hotel; and Bess Gulliver of Stratus Rooftop Lounge, Hotel Monaco.
During our two hour stay at the Stratus Rooftop Lounge, we tried each of the cocktails (all four were quite quaffable!), enjoyed some light snacks, talked with all of the bartenders about their creations, met several people that work in some aspect of the growing Philadelphia nightlife and entertainment industry (i.e. a representative from Philadelphia Distilling, the founder of Drink Philly, the marketing and PR people from the National Constitution Center), and we even had a brief word with a local celebrity (Fox 29’s Howard Eskin). This proved to be yet another wonderful event which we were lucky enough to attend.
In the spirit of “a picture is worth a thousand words“, below are some photos from the event for your viewing pleasure…
And for your drinking pleasure, below are recipes for the four cocktails that were served during the event:
The “Guest Favorite” Award Winning Cocktail: The Red Fizz Charleston by Stephen Diaz of 10 Arts, The Ritz Carlton Hotel
- 2 oz. Bluecoat Gin
- 1 oz. St Germain.
- 1.5 oz. Fresh Raspberry Syrup
- .5 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with a splash of Dry Brut Champagne. Garnish with a fresh lemon twist and skewered fresh raspberries.
The “Judge Favorite” Award Winning Cocktail: Orange Blossom by Nate Churchill of XIX, Hyatt At The Bellevue
- Bluecoat Gin
- Fresh Lemon Juice
- Fresh Orange Juice
- Dashes of Bitters
Serve in an 8 ounce mason jar or shot glasses. Garnish with orange zest.
Limpd’s Favorite Cocktail: The Powder Room Punch by Chauncey Scates of Square 1682, Palomar Hotel
- 1.5 oz. Bluecoat Gin
- .5 oz. Cointreau
- 1 oz. Jasmine Tea
- .75 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
- .5 oz. Grenadine (Pomegranate Juice Reduction)
- 1 dash of Peychaud’s Bitters
- 1 dash of Angostura Bitters
Serve in a punch or rocks glass.
G-LO’s Favorite Cocktail: Jazz Baby by Bess Gulliver of Stratus Rooftop Lounge, Hotel Monaco
- 1.5 oz. Bluecoat Gin
- 1 oz. Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
- .25 oz. Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curacao
- 1 barspoon Averna Amaro
Stir over ice and serve in a small cocktail glass. Garnish with a flamed orange peel.