On Monday, April 10th I was I was invited to attend the Martell Speakeasy event at Bookmakers Baltimore in Federal Hill. It was an “invite only” affair to celebrate the 300 year old Cognac. Martell has been making cognac since 1715 and currently has 10 variations in their collection. This was my second time at Bookmaker’s Baltimore, the first time was for Baltimore Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016 party.  The Martell event was on the upper level which is smaller and more intimate than the lower level. The upper level has a bar with seating for 10 and a lounge area with two large sofas and a large dining table that seats about 20 people.

Enjoying the "Future Island" cocktail
Enjoying the “Future Island” cocktail

Guests were treated to complimentary tastings of four Martell cocktails crafted by Bookmakers bartenders Ryan and Randy. R&R as I like to call them, carefully explained the ingredients in each cocktail and how each ingredient complimented the others. Because I’m also a mixologist, I particularly liked this because it gave me some new ideas to try for mixing my own drinks.  Over the course of the night, I had the pleasure of drinking five cocktails. I know I said four, but I ordered my favorite twice.

What Is & What Should Never Be
“Golden Light”
“Future Island”
Ryan and Randy

Here’s a brief rundown on each cocktail…

What Is & What Should Never Be – made with raisins soaked in Scotch and it’s like a tiki variation of a cognac cocktail
Stonefist – a different take on an Old Fashion and tastes like banana bread
Golden Light– citrus forward cocktail that includes a unique North African spice
Future Island– a perfect balance of cognac and fruity notes

My favorite cocktail was the Stonefist. It was made with banana, bitters and allspice. The banana and allspice gave it a dessert taste but I could still taste the Cognac.  The other cocktails were equally delicious and made with interesting ingredients such as cinnamon, scotch soaked raisins, pineapple and grapefruit. R&R sure know how to mix a drink! I’m almost certain that these cocktails are also on the Bookmakers daily cocktail list, so anyone can visit and give them a try. The Martell Brand Ambassador, Jonathan Peterson, also spoke briefly about the history of Martell and the different Martell cognacs that were used for each cocktail. The event also provided a delicious spread catered by Bookmakers.

Lobster Croquet, Chicken Croquet and Brussels Sprouts
Fried Catfish, Mashed Potatoes, Fried Okra

All of the food was great but the catfish was heaven! Tender and perfectly seasoned, it definitely hit the spot. Guests were also given a pop quiz about the Martell brand and the opportunity to win a bottle.


I almost forgot about the celebratory toast at the end of the night (so that means I actually had 6 drinks). A special thanks to the DMV Martell Cognac Brand Ambassador for inviting me.

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …