Restaurant Week “Best Cocktail” Contest Begins This Week
Restaurant Week Grand Rapids is adding a “spirited,” pardon the pun, new feature to Restaurant Week to notch up the excitement for the event and bring attention to celebrating Restaurant Week’s new August debut.
Nineteen restaurants decided to enter the contest that will determine which of those restaurants and their talented bartenders / mixologists will win the award for “best cocktail” made with Grey Goose Cherry Noir and Bacardi Oakheart Rum during Restaurant Week Grand Rapids. Both spirits are new products on the market in 2012. The contest was inspired in collaboration with Restaurant Week Sponsor Great Lakes Wine & Spirits and Bacardi.
I was invited, along with nine other media and community people, to judge all of the cocktails a couple of weeks ago. We each didn't have to taste all 28. We divided into five teams of two and narrowed it down to each teams two favorites. Then, with ten cocktails selected, we all sampled each to pick a winner. It was by a point system, so we don't know who the winner will be from our judging, but now the public gets to make their choice, too.
The idea is for voters to try cocktails they would like to taste between August 1 and August 22 in order to vote on their top favorite for each spirit type. Results will be announced on August 23, during the final weekend of Restaurant Week in order to let the public experience the winning mixologists’ concoctions.
If you'd like to get a look at all 28 cocktails, they are highlighted with photos, descriptions and information about the mixologist who entered the cocktail on RestaurantWeekGR.com.
Here are the participating restaurants and their cocktails entered in Grand Cocktail 2012:
Restaurant Cocktail Name
Amore Trattoria Italiana Gioia made with Bacardi Oakheart
Giada made with Grey Goose Cherry Noir
Bistro Bella Vita Cerise made with Grey Goose Cherry Noir
CitySen at CityFlats Hotel Francais Mure Rhum 76 made with Bacardi Oakheart
Sweet Michigan Cherry Lemonade made with GG Cherry Noir
Cygnus 27 Cherre Bomb made with GG Cherry Noir
Grand Woods Lounge Lake Michigan Lemonade made with GG Cherry Noir
HopCat Cherry Berry Chocolate Martini made with GG Cherry Noir
JBar & Gilly's at The BOB “Man” Eater Manhattan made with Bacardi Oakheart
Michigan Cherry Sangria made with GG Cherry Noir
Mangiamo! Oaky Mango Martini made with Bacardi Oakheart
McFadden's Restaurant The Lady-Pirate made with Bacardi Oakheart
Chocolate Cherry Treat made with GG Cherry Noir
Monkey Bar at The BOB Chocolate Cherry Dream made with GG Cherry Noir
Oaked Monkey made with Bacardi Oakheart
Pietro's Italian Restaurant “MI Goose” made with GG Cherry Noir
Rose's Mighty Oak made with Bacardi Oakheart
San Chez Bistro La Bomba de Cerise made with GG Cherry Noir
six.one.six Rum Rhubarb Manhattan made with Bacardi Oakheart
SpeakEZ Lounge The China Clipper made with Bacardi Oakheart
Danger is My Middle Name made with GG Cherry Noir
Spinnaker Restaurant Bacardi Apple Cider made with Bacardi Oakheart
Chocolate Cherry-Tini made with GG Cherry Noir
Tavern on the Square Chocolate Covered Grey Goose Cherry Noir Martini
The Landing - Riverfront Hotel Potent Punch made with GG Cherry Noir
Vanilla Spiced Cream made with Bacardi Oakheart
The Viceroy We All Float made with GG Cherry Noir
Packing a Muskat made with Bacardi Oakheart