DC Travel Guide  |  Hotels

Marriott Georgetown Toasts Hotel’s Redesign With (Boozy) Bourbon Battle

The ballroom of the recently redesigned Washington Marriott Georgetown was the backdrop for a charitable 'Bourbon Battle.' All photographs by Daniel Swartz.
Dan About Town

About Dan About Town

Party photographer Dan Swartz’s diary of bashes, benefits, and galas.

Fresh from a $28 million redesign, the Washington Marriott Georgetown formally feted the launch of its shiny new digs on Wednesday night with a charitable “Bourbon Battle.”

Mixologist winner Jessica Weinstein shaking things up.
The Bourbon Battle was barrels of fun.

Food Network star Rossi Morreale hosted the boozy battle, which saw two rounds of playfully heated competition. The first face-off pitted members of the District’s budding media community against one another, with National Journal’s Jeff Dufour besting his colleagues from Zagat, Eater, DCist, and DC Refined. Dufour’s winning cocktail will be featured on the menu of the hotel’s restaurant, The Visiteur, for the next 6 months, with 100% of the drink’s proceeds going to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Media battle winner and National Journal Editor Jeff Dufour, Marriott Georgetown General Manager Kori Johnson, and Marriott International Chief Operating Officer David Marriott.
Mixologists plied every trick of the trade to win.

But the evening’s main grudge match was a showdown between some of the area’s top bartenders and mixologists. Jessica Weinstein, Beverage Director and Bar Manager for Hank’s Oyster Bar, Jennifer Feldt, Bartender at Addendum and 801 and SpeedRack SE Champion, Samuel Abdweh, Bartender at the Washington Marriott Georgetown, and Lauren Sundburg, Bartender at the Marriott Griffin Gate, duked it out across three heated rounds of competition where everything from the garnish to the glassware impacted their final scores.

Judges James Addison, David Hagedorn, and Carrie Allan.
“Blind” bourbon tastings.

Ultimately, judges Carrie Allan (Spirits Writer for the Washington Post), David Hagedorn (Food Writer and Cookbook Author), and James Addison (VP Operations, Design & Development, Marriott International) crowned Weinstein the Bourbon Battle winner, however. In addition to bragging rights, she took home a weekend stay at the hotel, Marriott’s coveted Platinum rewards status, and 100,000 rewards points.

Claire Goldman and Lorena Trejo.
Small plates from the hotel’s new food program highlighted “global taste with local comfort”.

Guests to Wednesday’s event were further treated to a sampling of some of Washington’s best locally made bourbons, such as those distilled at Jos. A. Magnus, all while jamming to the sounds of bluesman Jonny Grave and his band.

Americana bluesman Jonny Grave performed throughout the party.
Local distillery Jos. A. Magnus treated guests to samples of its various bourbons.

As for the hotel’s parting gift to attendees? A travel cocktail kit, naturally.