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Recap: Artini

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Artini was an amazing event, combining some of my favorite things: late 19th century European art, martinis, dancing and best friends. (As I’ve mentioned) two of my dearest friends from college were visiting, and we were all very excited to dress-up like the good old days of sorority cocktails and formals.  The boyfriend and some of my other favorite people were also in attendance. (Check out a photo of us on the Washingtonian Web site: here).

Photo credit: Cori Sue Morris

 

Background: 12 mixologists from some of D.C.’s best restaurants were tasked with creating a martini based on a specific work of art from The Corcoran Gallery of Art’s permanent collection, featured in the exhibition: A Love of Europe: Highlights from the William A. Clark Collection. 

Photo credit: Cori Sue Morris

The participating restaurants were: Art and Soul, Bourbon, Farmers & Fishers, The Gibson, J & G Steakhouse, Mie N Yu, POV at the W Hotel, PS7’s Restaurant, Rasika, SEI Restaurant, Tabbard Inn, and Wisdom. (For more information, check out the Washingtonian’s feature or the Artini Web site.) The overall winner was the POV at the W Hotel’s “The Number 9”, inspired by Arcadia, Women Bathing, which featured cinnamon-infused Absolut Vodka and house-made ginger-lemon soda.

 Among our group the favorite was Sei’s martini, inspired by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s  Repose (1860).

Photo credit: Cori Sue Morris

The Sei martini was the boldest martini, with a very strong “spicy” cinammon taste, topped with an edible flower.

Photo credit: Cori Sue Morris

By far the most creative (and the girly-girl favorite) was PS7’s “First Position,” inspired by The Dance Class by Degas.

Photo credit: Cori Sue Morris

 “First Position” was made with Plymouth gin, fresh lemon juice, lavender syrup, and Verbena tea, and topped with Absinthe cotton candy.

Photo credit: Cori Sue Morris

 

My personal favorite was the Tabbard Inn’s Two Women, inspired by another Degas painting by that name.

Photo credit: Cori Sue Morris

 

In my humble opinion, the Tabbard Inn’s drink was the prettiest and most unique, topped with lavender flowers and blood oranges, and complemented by meringues.

Photo credit: Cori Sue Morris

 The ambiance at Artini was perfect. The lighting? Not too bright, not too dark, just right. The hors d’oeuvres? Creative and delicious: three types of popcorn (truffle, cayenne and butter), mini hot dogs and sliders, hummus or gorgonzola with pita chips, fried mac-and-cheese (a personal fave), and plenty of chocolate lolipops to go around. The crowd? Well-dressed, classy and lively.

My one issue would be the DJ. He played Jock-Jams music cira 1995. I found myself intoxicated throwing hoops to “Woomp there it is” and other terrible hits that reminds me of that terrible Michael Jordan movie Space Jam, causing a bit of an existential crisis.  The music definitely did not correlate with art, martinis and well-dressed young professionals. Clearly, I was determined to make the best of it regardless. I’ll be requesting they have a new DJ next year, because we’re making Artini a new tradition.

Photo credit: Cori Sue Morris

 Bad, DJ, bad.

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