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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.

 

flickr/ ambernambrose

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

 

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