The Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art and Design’s 1869 Society held its seventh annual Artini event Saturday night. Mixologists from 10 bars throughout the city created martinis inspired by works of art in the Corcoran’s collection. What made this night different from past years? “The 10 bars are from different places around the city — 14th street, Dupont — it’s a diverse group,” says Artini co-chair RaShonda Rosier.
Jack Rose Dining Saloon, the Adam’s Morgan bar known for its whiskey selection, won the critics choice award. Mixologists Nick Lowe and Trevor Frye created a cocktail based on Robert William Vonnoh’s “Notre Dame de Paris.” “We couldn’t have Paris without including a little absinthe for Hemingway,” said Lowe.
The people’s choice winner was the artini from Quill. Sophie Szych and Rachel Kling created a drink based on Frederic Edwin Church’s “Niagara” that used a homemade tarragon , cucumber, mint and pear sorbet instead of ice. “I really like the water in the painting. It’s an emerald green and looks like it’s about to be spring,” said Szych. “We went with nice spring-y, fresh flavors.”
As the night went on, the bar lines began to snake and when the artinis ran dry an hour before the official end of the event, guests began filling out of the Corcoran. What advice did the mixologists have for the home bartender? “It’s always nice to make a small change in a classic cocktail,” said Jasmine Chae of Oyamel. “It can be a fun twist.”
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