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A look at the Corcoran’s art-inspired cocktail night.
Critics high-five winner Frank Jones from the Gibson. Photograph by Kate Warren.

The Corcoran’s annual fundraiser, presented by the 1869 Society, was a fun-filled evening of art, cocktails, entertainment, and dancing. Eight mixologists from some of the area’s prominent restaurants and bars—including the Gibson, Daikaya, Bandolero, the Passenger, Jack Rose, Zentan, Ambar, and P.O.V. at the W Hotel—served up martinis inspired by pieces of art in the museum. Adam Sackett and Frank Jones from the Gibson took home the gold and won the Critics’ Choice award for their FEW rye whiskey martini inspired by Henri Regnault’s “Head of a Moor.” Funds from the event go toward NOW at the Corcoran, the museum’s series of contemporary art exhibitions and performances.

Posted at 01:00 PM/ET, 03/25/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
We have a pair of tickets to give away for the Corcoran event this Friday. By Sophie Gilbert
Art + cocktails = a fun time. Photograph by Kevin Allen.

If there are two things we’re passionate about over here at After Hours HQ, those two things are fine art and cocktails. Luckily both come together in fine form at Artini, the Corcoran’s annual event dedicated to a fusion of mixology and art.

Hosted by the 1869 Society, Artini brings together eight mixologists from local hotspots such as the Passenger, Daikaya, Jack Rose, and the Gibson. We have two tickets to give away to this year’s event, happening this Friday, March 22. To win, simply tweet @AfterHoursBlog the name of your favorite Washington bar with the hashtag #Artini, or e-mail us the name at before noon on Thursday. We’ll pick a winner at random and notify them Thursday afternoon.

For more information about Artini, visit the Corcoran’s website, or visit our Washingtonian Artini page with links to recipes and videos.

Posted at 02:45 PM/ET, 03/19/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Ambar mixologist created a drink inspired by Albert Bierstadt’s painting “Mount Corcoran.” By Tanya Pai
Albert Bierstadt, Mount Corcoran, c. 1876-1877. Oil on canvas, 60 11/16 x 95 7/8 inches. Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Museum purchase, Gallery Fund, 78.1. Photos: Daniel Swartz.

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.

Posted at 01:35 PM/ET, 03/19/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photos from this weekend's bash at the Corcoran, featuring cocktails inspired by works of art. By Melissa Romero
Three of the delicious cocktails served at Artini this year. Photographs by Kevin Allen.

The Corcoran Gallery of Art hosted its annual Artini 2012 celebration this Saturday, during which 11 local mixologists competed to create the best cocktail inspired by a work of art. 

Joe Ambrose of POV at the W Hotel had the critics' winning cocktail, which was inspired by the oil painting "Theophrastus Garden 2." Within an hour of doors opening, partygoers had to wait almost 30 minutes for a taste of his martini, which came complete with an edible flower.

The readers' choice winner was Art & Soul's Ronald Flores, who was inspired by Aaron Douglas's "Into Bondage" oil painting. 

Apart from sipping on cocktails, attendees dressed in "creative cocktail attire" munched on desserts and finger foods and danced to music by Chris Nitti and Matthew Hemerlein

All proceeds from Artini 2012 went toward ArtReach, the Corcoran's arts education program.

Posted at 04:20 PM/ET, 04/03/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Find out how to re-create this gorgeously colored cocktail, inspired by a mural on the ceiling of the Corcoran. By Melissa Romero

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.

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Posted at 11:30 AM/ET, 03/29/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Jack Rose’s Rachel Sergi creates a tequila cocktail inspired by Frederic Edwin Church's oil painting of the Niagara Falls.
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.

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Posted at 03:15 PM/ET, 03/23/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Ardeo + Bardeo’s Sam Haltiwanger creates a rum-and-cider concoction inspired by Jane Hammond’s painting “Hand Held.” By Melissa Romero

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.

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Posted at 10:30 AM/ET, 03/23/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Watch bartender Josh Berner make the B Cup here. Try it out for yourself at Church & State’s Feature Night March 17, when it’s 25 percent off. By Melissa Romero

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Posted at 03:21 PM/ET, 03/14/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
We sipped art-inspired drinks at Artini Saturday night. Check out our photos of the sparkling event. By Emily Leaman

>> Click here to see the Artini 2010 slide show

The Corcoran Gallery of Art’s 1869 Society hosted its annual Artini fundraiser Saturday night, bringing together some of Washington’s most talented mixologists for an evening of cocktails, desserts, and dancing. The event was the culmination of a monthlong competition, in which a dozen mixologists created drinks based on works of art. Throughout the month, cocktail fiends sipped and slurped the concoctions then voted on their favorite. This year’s winner? The cinnamon-vodka-laced Number 9 by POV’s Justin Guthrie.

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Posted at 06:26 AM/ET, 03/30/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()
We’re showcasing some of the cocktails in competition for Artini 2010. By Alejandro Salinas

Artini is a monthlong competition among 12 of the area’s top mixologists to create the most artistic martini. This year, the source of inspiration for the cocktails is the Corcoran’s current exhibit “A Love of Europe: Highlights From the William A. Clark Collection.” Every Tuesday through Thursday through March 31, one competing cocktail will be featured for tasting at different venues from 6:30 to 8:30. 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

“There’s nothing better than a drink that sneaks up on you,” says Tiffany Short of her cocktail, Forbidden Kiss. The drink is based on French sculpture Auguste Rodin’s rendering of Eve, and is quite deceptive—going down as smoothly as apple juice but packing as much alcohol as a martini. The cocktail’s layers of taste are meant to emulate the nature of Rodin’s “Eve,” which Short characterizes as being “innocent and a little mischievous at the same time.”

The Forbidden Kiss, as its name suggests, derives its name from the forbidden fruit, apples, which Short integrated into the drink in the form of a shrub—a drink concentrate made with fruit, vinegars, and sugar. Also in the drink: gin, an egg white, and a touch of Champagne to, says Short, add that note of naughtiness. Watch a demonstration of how to make the cocktail in the video above, and remember—the Forbidden Kiss ($12) will be served Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Gibson as part of Artini’s weekly feature nights.

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Posted at 10:49 AM/ET, 03/22/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()