If you haven’t already heard, Baltimore is the next booming city for craft cocktails and cocktail enthusiasts. Last week, the city hosted the 2nd Annual Baltimore Cocktail Week and this week we are hosting The Bar Institute educational conference.
I was invited to attend two events during Baltimore Cocktail week and the energy at these events were electric! The mission of Baltimore Cocktail Week is to “focus on the cultivation and enhancement of the hospitality industry in Baltimore City and surrounding areas through innovative cocktail programs, comprehensive educational forums and consumer enrichment events.” There were a total of six events held at different restaurants in the city. Eleven other restaurants also created signature drinks for Baltimore Cocktail Week and with each cocktail purchase a $1.00 donation was made to a charitable organization.
The first event I attended was the “Baltimore’s Lovely Ladies Bartending Competition” at Pen & Quill Restaurant presented by Tullamore DEW Whiskey. Twelve female bartenders created one-of-a-kind cocktails and guests judged the creations and crowned a winner. Each guest was greeted with a welcome cocktail “The Drambuie Winner’s Cup” and given a score card and drink ticket at the door. The score cards were numbered 1-12 to match with the twelve bartenders, your card number identified your bartender and cocktail. I was given a card with the number one (1) and I was able to sample a cocktail made by Molly McNaulty of the Cultured bar in Mt. Vernon Marketplace.
Molly named her cocktail “Believe In Magic” and she said it was inspired by the Baltimore Orioles Opening Day. She wanted to make an orange and black cocktail and also a cocktail that anyone can enjoy in the morning. For her cocktail she made the bottom layer with carrot juice, whiskey, tonic, lime and maple syrup and the top layer with Mezcal, balsamic and beet juice. The ingredients may not sound like they mix well together, but don’t be fooled this cocktail was a hit! Sweet and slightly tangy after I drank it I immediately wanted another.
The second event I attended was a social media master class taught by Chelsea Gregoire of Drinkable Genius. Chelsea is a bartender at Pen & Quill and she has 10 years of experience in the restaurant and bar industry. I first met Chelsea when I went to an event with a friend she made the tastiest cocktail using Old Grand-Dad whiskey and mead. Chelsea spent her Wednesday morning with 20+ attendees sharing her photography and social media tips and tricks of the trade. Guests enjoyed delicious Bloody Mary cocktails and coffee. Over the last few days, I’ve applied a few of her tips and it has increased my social media engagement. Thanks Chelsea!
I love these food and beverage events in Baltimore. If you know of any others send them my way.
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