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 be showcasing some of the cocktails. For more information about Artini, the featured nights, or to vote for your favorite bartender, go to washingtonian.com/artini.
Last year, Erik Holzherr was Artini’s surprise winner—a veritable dark horse with little buzz and a small bar in Southeast DC no one had heard of. Nevertheless, he bested 11 better-known bartenders with his cocktail the Tortoise and the Bare, which impressed voters with the smokiness of its main ingredient, Qi, a brandy-based black-tea liqueur. (Get the recipe for the cocktail here.)
This year, Holzherr is no longer the underdog, but he’s hoping to repeat a win with a new trick: molecular mixology. His latest concoction, Absolution, features a molecular “grape” made of gelled, pressed apple juice and green Chartreuse. The “grape” has a solid shell but remains liquid on the inside, delivering the cocktail’s last punch of flavor when you bite into it. Now, Holzherr isn’t willing to reveal the secrets behind his molecular “grape” garnish but he agreed to demonstrate how to make the rest of the cocktail in the video above. To sample the Absolution ($11) and mingle with other local cocktail aficionados, head to Wisdom Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30.
Erik Holzherr, Wisdom
1½ ounces Plymouth gin
½ ounces yellow Chartreuse
1 ounces Dubonnet Blanc
2 ounces fresh-pressed apple juice
Mist or a splash of Cointreau
Chill a martini glass with ice. Combine gin, Chartreuse, Dubonnet Blanc, and apple juice in a mixing glass. Add ice and shake. Empty the martini glass and strain the mixture into it. Add a mist of Cointreau with an atomizer or a splash.
Fore more Buzzed cocktail demonstrations, click here.