July 9th, 2008

Hendricks & limericks

Hendrick’s Beantown Bartender Battle The limerick’s structure somewhat
necessitates *eloquent* smut.
If you haven’t the time
to learn meter and rhyme,
then don’t write them, you ignorant slut.

– From the top 150 limericks on LimerickDB

Finally, a contest for those yearning to combine their mixology and rhyming skills. The Hendrick’s Beantown Bartender Battle is putting out the call to all Boston-area mixologists — from those who pour booze for a living to those who have never mixed a drink outside their kitchen — for original recipes using Hendrick’s gin. Recipes can use up to six ingredients, but Hendrick’s must serve as the base. The cocktail also must highlight one of the 13 botanicals used in the gin: cucumber, rose petal, elderflower, chamomile, juniper berry, caraway seed, coriander, cubeb berry, orris root, lemon peel, orange peel, meadowsweat, and angelica. (Anyone who highlights cubeb berry should get extra credit.)

Submissions are due Wednesday, July 23, and should be emailed to Hendrick’s brand ambassador Charlotte Voisey at cvoisey@wgrantusa.com

Now for the fun part. Charlotte will select five finalists and invite them to present their cocktails to a panel of judges at Green Street (280 Green St., Cambridge) on Tuesday, August 5. The contestants can use only one five-line limerick to present, describe or announce their cocktails to the judges. The judges will, of course, consider the limerick along with the cocktail. First prize is a round-trip air ticket to anywhere in the U.S., and Hendrick’s promises other, “mysterious and unusual” prizes.

If you just want to be a spectator, no problem. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7:00 p.m., are $20. Charlotte and Green Street bar manager Misty Kalkofen will mix up four Hendrick’s gin cocktails, and there’ll be some bites to eat, too. To reserve your spot ahead of time, call Green Street at 617-876-1655.

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9 Responses to “Hendricks & limericks”

  1. Drew

    I emailed Charlotte for a clarification of some of the rules and am reposting them below for my fellow home-tenders (you pros out there, please ignore this to give us amateurs a shot at making the finals through you being disqualified ;) )

    “Ice is not considered an ingredient. If some type of water is added (other than that which comes from the dilution ice when shaking/stirring/blending then it will be considered and counted as an ingredient.”

    “You can just list lime as an ingredient and use it however you wish.” (in response to a question on if lime zest and lime juice would be two different ingredients)

    “Bitters are an ingredient unless only used as a garnish (like in the classic Pisco sour)”

    “You may highlight more than one of the botanicals.”

    “I don’t need the limerick submitted with your recipe. If you are chosen in the final five to present on August 5th then you will announce your limerick then.”

  2. ljclark

    Hey, thanks for sharing these clarifications, Drew. Good luck!

  3. Adam

    Drew, your question about regarding the lime brings up a question I’ve had for a while about Hendrick’s: A bartender in a fairly upscale bar in London told me last year that if you mix Hendrick’s with any lime juice it will result in a bitter drink, which is why a cucumber garnish is preferred. This sounds like nothing more than branding myth to me. I tried it at home and was unable to sense a problem, but I happen to like bitter in my drink so I’m probably not the right person to judge… Can anyone shed some light on this bartender’s claim?

  4. ljclark

    Hmm, Adam. I have to say I’ve never heard that. The bar at Radius once did a Rosemary gimlet — Hendrick’s gin, lime juice, simple syrup and muddled fresh rosemary topped with ginger beer — and it was balanced and delicious. That said, I admit I haven’t tried that many Hendrick’s cocktails made with lime juice.

  5. Adam

    Lauren, thanks for the reply. As I was reading it, I happened to think to look at the Hendrick’s Web site and low and behold they have a gimlet listed as a good recipe for Hendrick’s gin:

    http://www.hendricksgin.co.uk/us/cocktails/usual/cocktails_usual_gimlet.asp

    … so I think the bartender was a bit confused on that topic, although he did mix me up a couple of very tasty cocktails (unfortunately, exceedingly expensive — £20 each, as I recall.)

    That rosemary gimlet sounds awesome, especially with the ginger beer. Thanks for sharing.

  6. the modern serf

    £20?! thats more than a bottle costs.

  7. jacqueline church

    Cubeb?! I have some in my cabinet …I love Hendrick’s and had no idea it was part of the flavor profile.

    Thinking of heading to Nola for one or two days of this event. Ideas? Suggestions?

    I’m a Boston-based food and drink writer.

    Cheers!
    - Jacqueline

  8. ljclark

    Wow, Jacqueline, you have cubeb in your cabinet? As for attending Tales, you really can’t go wrong between Thursday and Sunday. Check out a list of events here:
    http://www.blacktie-louisiana.com/schoolcatalog/classlist.cfm?schoolid=2

  9. jacqueline

    ljclark:
    Thanks – I am unfortunately participating in absentia. Sharing a cocktail with my fellow Boston barflies/bartenders and bloggers in the virtual bar (shall we call it B4?) I like that – has some interesting possibilities.

    I’ve got my Aviation gin courtesy of a Bauer’s delivery today. And am crafting a new cocktail as we speak. Letting my lemongrass simple syrup cool. Then I’ll get to the mixing part.

    Wah! I’m so missing being there! Next year.

    Thanks for the quick reply –
    Cheers,
    jacqueline

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