The final feature night for the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s Artini event happens Tuesday, March 19, at Barracks Row Balkan spot Ambar. Mixologist Milton Hernandez will stir up Le Corcoran, a cocktail inspired by Albert Bierstadt’s painting “Mount Corcoran.” Says Hernandez, “I chose three different liquors to represent the major natural forms in [the painting]. The mezcal infusion represents the clouds, the absinthe conjures up the clarity and emerald green color of the river, and the apple whiskey brings out the redness from the trees in the background.” Head to Ambar to have him make you one, or attempt it yourself with the help of the video.
2 ounces Dark Corner Distillery apple-flavored corn whiskey
1 ounces Mezcal Benevá-Añejo infused black tea
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
½ ounce La Muse Verte Absinthe Traditionnelle
1 teaspoon gelatin
Blend the milk, cream, and mezcal together to infuse, and allow it to sit in a refrigerator for a day before use.
At a low heat, warm up the absinthe and, using a whisk and a teaspoon, add one teaspoon of gelatin to the warm, but not boiling, absinthe, then let it cool in a refrigerator for five hours.
To put the drink together, pour the apple whiskey over ice and stir twice, add one tablespoon of the absinthe emulsion so it floats over the whiskey, then add the remaining mezcal infusion over the absinthe emulsion to create three layers.
For the Corcoran Gallery of Art's Artini 2012, Michael Audi of El Centro DF has created a cocktail so beautiful you almost don't want to drink it. The Layers DF cocktail's base liquor is Herradura Blanco tequila, and splashes of cranberry juice and crème de violette add color to represent the art gallery's ceiling mural "Putti with Allegorical Figures Representing the Arts and Seasons" by Hughes Taraval.
Saturday's event is sold out, but you can watch this video of Audi creating the cocktail and try it yourself.
By Melissa Romero
This year Jack Rose Dining Saloon's beverage director Rachel Sergi went all out with her creative concoction for the Corcoran Gallery's Artini Night.
Inspired by Frederic Edwin Church's oil painting of the Niagra Falls, Sergi uses a mix of crushed blueberries and green apple juice and tops it off with a special foam of Jack Daniel's honey and Solgar lecinthin to mimic the falls and mist.
Watch Sergi create the Threshold cocktail and try it yourself with the recipe below.
For this year's Artini event, hosted by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Ardeo + Bardeo mixologist Sam Haltiwanger created the Handle Bar cocktail, a crisp drink inspired by Jane Hammond's 1996 painting "Hand Held."
The colorful oil painting features a map of the United States, with hand imprints surrounding the country. To mimic the mix of color, hands, and images, Haltiwanger used a variety of ingredients that are popular in America, including rum and apple cider, to create the Handle Bar.
While the drink is simple to make and pleasantly sweet, creating the juice mixture requires a little more care. Read on for the recipe, and watch Haltiwanger make the cocktail in the following video.
Artini is a monthlong competition among 12 of the area’s top mixologists to create the most artistic martini. This year, various pieces in the Corcoran Gallery of Art inspired the bartenders’ cocktail creations. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday through March 31, one competing drink will be featured for tasting at different venues from 6:30 to 8:30. Twenty percent of each venue’s sales benefit the Corcoran’s exhibition programming.
Here at After Hours, we’ll showcase some of the cocktails.
For more information about Artini, the featured nights, or to vote for your favorite bartender, go to washingtonian.com/artini.
Mie N Yu (3125 M St., NW; 202-333-6122) bar chef Robert Tinney has brought the Big Apple to Georgetown with his Fifth Avenue Punch cocktail.
Tinnley’s concoction is inspired by Richard Gordon’s “Fifth Avenue, N.Y.C.” photograph. While the drink can be served individually, Tinney serves it in a punch bowl with an apple ice block.
“I was inspired by a lot of trips to New York City and by the Big Apple, so I decided to go with an apple-based punch,” Gordon says.
The cocktail offers a range of tastes, from the citrus of the lemon peels to the sweet apple liqueur to the bubbly aftertaste of Champagne.
If you didn’t make it to Mie N Yu’s Feature Night March 10, you can still get the drink at the bar through April 2 or at Corcoran Gallery’s Artini Night for $12 Thursday, March 31.
If you’re trying this cocktail at home, you can switch the Champagne for sparkling cider, but avoid California sparkling wines—they’ll dry out the drink. The lavender water can be substituted for lavender tea.
Fifth Avenue Punch
Robert Tinney, Mie N Yu
Makes one drink
2 or 3 Meyer-lemon peels
½ ounce lavender water
2 ounces Rémy Martin 1738 Cognac
1 ounce Thatcher’s organic apple liqueur
Piper Hiedsieck Demi-Sec Champagne
2 or 3 thin apple slices
Grated nutmeg or cinnamon
Place the lemon peels in a glass and add the lavender water. Using a muddle, press the water and peels together in the bottom of the glass. Add the cognac, the apple liqueur, and some ice. Shake. Strain the liquid into a ice-filled glass. Top off the drink with the Champagne. Garnish with apple slices and ground nutmeg or cinnamon.