THE BURNING topic at Georgetown Park's Winter Carnival last Sunday morning was whether January drinks should be served hot or cold. And even though the panel of media personalities judged cold from among the six drinks in question, some liked them hot.
Buck's Dream, a thick drink made from vanilla ice cream, Kahlua and Chambord (black raspberry liqueur), was the cool winner. But Houlihan's Hot Apple Pie -- a drink of spiced hot apple cider laced with Tuaca (vanilla- and nut-flavored liqueur), topped with whipped cream and nutmeg shavings -- was a much-touted favorite. However, there was room for just one winner at the top, the room being a weekend for two at West Virginia's luxury resort, The Homestead.
Even the carnival's queen, 19-year-old Andrea McNitt, a humanities major at Georgetown University, couldn't decide between the two drinks (which were as different as night and day), picking the Hot Applie Pie first ("subtle, not too sweet") and Buck's Dream second ("tastes like chocolate ice cream").
"Houlihan's Hot Apple Pie really tasted like hot apple pie," said Saturday magazine's Steve Douglass, who gave the drink his highest marks -- eight out of 10 possible points. "Buck's Dream was cold," he said, "and cool drinks are not very wintery."
"I can't make up my mind," said Candy Shannon of WKYS radio. "It's a tie between Buck's Dream and Houlihan's Hot Apple Pie, so I gave them both a 10. I guess it'll be up to someone else."
While the judges sat at a long table under the escalators, 900 well-heeled Washingtonians who paid $15 per ticket ate a brunch of rare filet mignon, fluffy cheese omelets, spicy sausages and hot croissants. They washed it down with Mimosas and Bloody Marys, and boogied between bites to the sounds of the '30s from the Widespread Jazz Orchestra.
The brunch was a fund raiser for, among other things, Christmas decorations and trash cans for Georgetown streets, said Susan Thompson, chairman of the planning committee. Plans began only six weeks ago, so it was the donations of time, money and food by local businesses and professional organizations and the citizens' committee that made the morning a success, Thompson said.
In addition to food and drinks, there were three ice carvings and five snow sculptures upon which ticket holders could feast their eyes and pass judgment. Hyatt Regency's executive chef Jeff Wind and sous chef Jim Bellows won sweaters and medallions for their "harmonic tribute to Georgetown" -- three tiers of angels singing and playing harps.
The winning snow sculpture was the creation of four George Washington University students who carved throughout the night, from melting snow, a scene of four life-size bodies passed out on a bar. They won three nights in Jamaica for their efforts. Pasta, Inc. won a trophy for having the best table setting. Unfortunately, it was used to serve brunch and caught on fire before everyone got a chance to see the creation.
After the winners were announced and trophies passed around, lines began to form at F. Scott's makeshift bar to taste the winning drink. "I'd drink ours [Chadwick's Chill], but it tastes terrible," chided Chadwick's bartender Steve Columbia while pilfering a sample of Buck's Dream.
Buck himself, not particularly surprised at the win, said he would serve it to anyone who came into the bar and asked for it and, since it's so popular, he may even put it on the menu.
By noon lights in the mall's stores began to flicker on and doors opened to shoppers. The temporary bars were dismantled but the band played on until 2:30.
Here are the recipes for all the winter drinks created and entered by Georgetown bartenders. None was a loser.
F. SCOTT'S BUCK'S DREAM (1 drink) 1 ounce Kahlua 1 ounce Chambord (black raspberry liqueur) About 1 1/2 scoops vanilla ice cream
Mix all ingredients in blender until smooth and thick like a milkshake. Serve immediately.
HOULIHAN'S HOT APPLE PIE 4 parts apple cider Cloves, to taste 1 stick cinnamon 1 part Tuaca (vanilla- and nut-flavored liqueur) Freshly whipped cream Cinnamon and freshly crated nutmeg, for garnish
Boil cider with spices for 2 hours. Fill cup 3/5 full with cider. Pour in another 1/5 Tuaca. Dollop freshly whipped cream on top. Sprinkle cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg on top.
NATHAN'S OLD FASHIONED HOT BUTTERED RUM (1 drink) 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon brown sugar Cinnamon, cloves and lemon juice, to taste 1 cup boiling water 1/2 ounce dark rum 2 ounces apple cider
Melt butter with brown sugar, remove from heat and rechill. Add cinnamon, cloves and lemon juice to boiling water and let sit for two days. Heat water, rum and apple cider together. Just before serving put cold butter in bottom of heavy mug, add hot rum and serve.
THIRD EDITION'S MULLED CIDER (Makes 1 gallon) 1/2 cup lemon juice 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon 2 tablespoons ground coriander 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg 1 tablespoon ground allspice 8 whole cloves 1 tablespoon anise seeds 1 cup water 1 gallon apple cider Brandy
Heat cider in large pot. Boil remaining ingredients over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Strain into cider and mix well. Pour 1 ounce brandy in snifter or Irish coffee glass, top with cider. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
CHADWICKS CHILL (Makes about 1 gallon) 2 bottles champagne 10-ounce package frozen raspberries, defrosted 2 cups brandy 2 cups framboise 1 cup Triple Sec 1 quart club soda
Mix all ingredients together in large punch bowl. Stir and serve.
MR. SMITH'S AMARETTO MOCHA (1 serving) 1/2 shot Irish whiskey 1/2 shot chocolate amaretto 3/4 cup freshly brewed coffee 1/2 pint whipped cream 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar Chocolate shavings, for garnish
Pour whiskey and amaretto into bottom of coffee mug. Add coffee and stir. Whip cream with sugar and mound on top of coffee mixture. Note: Confectioners' sugar, says Howard Joynt, the drink's originator, helps the whipped cream stand up longer with the hot coffee.
CLYDE'S HOLLYWOOD HOTS (1 serving) 1 cup freshly brewed tea 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
Lace freshly brewed tea with Grand Marnier.