Sunday 01 July, 2012

VIDEO! Thai-ing One On With The Mix Masters at LUCKYRICE Vegas Night Market

"Fit to be Thai'ed"




  Although I rounded up my impressions of the food at the LUCKYRICE Night Market event (June 23 at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas) already on NowImHungry.com, I wanted to put a special focus on the really notable array of cocktails presented that night. Why notable? Well, a few reasons: typically at a food event, […]




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Showing off Tobin Ellis' drinks with Absolut Vodka's Kristin Schaffer

Although I rounded up my impressions of the food at the LUCKYRICE Night Market event (June 23 at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas) already on NowImHungry.com, I wanted to put a special focus on the really notable array of cocktails presented that night.

Why notable?

Well, a few reasons: typically at a food event, you might get 2-4 original cocktails by one or two notable mixologists, using a sponsored spirit or two. One of them, charitably, might be good enough that you'd actually consider paying for it.

At LUCKYRICE Night Market, there were no less than six accomplished mixologists, both local and visiting, each producing at least one (sometimes two) original cocktails.

They were almost all based on the same spirit, Bombay Sapphire East (the event's co-sponsor), with a very specific (and arguably challenging) flavor profile emphasizing lemongrass and black pepper.

And yet each of them was very distinct from the next, so much so that it was sometimes hard to imagine they  had the same base. It's a testament to a new-ish spirit that, to be honest, I never would've thought had this much versatility.

And at least half of them were out-of-the-park hits: balanced, clever, original, delectable. That doesn't happen often.

This video montage is glitched-up and hard to hear, but I still wanted to share it as some kind of document:

Here again are the details on some of my favorites (more or less in descending order):

"Fit to be Thai'ed"

Mariena Mercer: Fit to be Thai’ed (Pandan Infused Bombay Sapphire East, St George Thai Basil Eau De Vie, Sweet Ginger Puree, Thai Chili Peanut Syrup, Kaffir Lime leaves, Lemon Grass Coconut Cream and Garam Masala)-- I must've had the better part of three of these. Like a whole Thai restaurant in a glass.

Chris Hopkins: Year of the Dragon (Bombay Sapphire East, Yellow Chartreuse, Lime juice, Caramelized pineapple puree, Jalapeno tabasco, Kaffir lime leaves, Cardamom/verbena syrup)-- Just a masterful balance of complexity.

Tobin Ellis: Hop Hop (Bombay Sapphire East, Napa Valley Pear, Napa Valley Ginger, Napa Valley Yuzu and Looza Pear Nectar) Also: Corzo Thai Pulled Tea (Corzo Reposado Tequila, Homemade Thai Tea, Half and Half, Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters)--Both crave-worthy.

Tony Abou-Ganim: Bubbling Rose (Bombay Sapphire East gin, fresh lemon juice, homemade hibiscus syrup, chilled champagne, garnished with lemon slices) Also: 430 (Bacardi O, Guava Nectar, Fresh Lemon Sour, Aperol, orange slices)--In some ways, the master's recipes might have seemed the least out-of-the-box, but Tony's were also the drinks best made for pairing with food. Kudos for that.

Duggan McDonnell: Gentleman's Delight (Bombay Sapphire East, M & R Bianco Vermouth, Fresh Lemon Juice, Sugar Syrup, Tonic, Cucumbers, Angostura Bitters)

Jerry Vargas: Lucky Number (Bombay Saphire East, Domaine de Canton, Apricot simple, Coconut Water and Lime juice)

Now I'm just wondering how the mixologists at the next Night Market--in LA on August 10--are going to top those. Can't wait to find out.

LUCKYRICE Los Angeles Night Market 


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