Written by Anita
March 13, 2010
Art + Martini = Artini! Now in its third year, Artini is a month-long competition that challenges twelve of DC’s top mixologists to create the most artistic martini. This year, each “artini” is inspired by a work of art in the Corcoran Gallery of Art's current exhibition A Love of Europe: Highlights from the William A. Clark Collection. Mixologists showcase their artinis at their respective establishments throughout the month, and tasters can vote for their favorites at the Washingtonian’s website. The competition culminates in the 1869 Society’s gala event at the Corcoran (listed on GregsListDC!), where the winning artini is announced as guests imbibe the nominated artinis, sample desserts, and dance the night away.
Last year’s event (which drew a sold-out crowd of 725) featured several stellar concoctions including Gina Chersevani’s (PS7’s) artini of tequila, lemon, and Cointreau garnished with strawberry hearts and scissors, and Chris Kelley’s (Mie N Yu) blue banana artini with gummy octopus and blue sugared rim—each inspired by a different art piece. Erik Holzherr (Wisdom) took top honors in the 2009 competition with his Tortoise & the Bare Artini,* a smoky yet citrus-y mix inspired by Elisabeth Artz’s ceramic sculpture of the same name. All for a good cause, the event raised over $33,000 for the Corcoran College of Art + Design's BFA Scholarship Fund.
This year’s Artini gala will benefit ArtReach, the Corcoran’s community outreach program that offers free, high-quality arts education programs to underserved DC-area communities. Gina, Chris, and Erik will be returning to this year’s competition, and will be joined by:
• Vannara Amnathvong (J&G Steakhouse)
• Jon Arroyo (Farmers & Fishers)
• Ronald Flores (Art and Soul)
• Justin Guthrie (POV at the W Hotel)
• Arris Noble (SEI)
• Tiffany Short (The Gibson)
• Jason Strich (Rasika)
• Owen Thomson (Bourbon)
• Chantal Tseng (Tabard Inn Restaurant)
Click here to see the art pieces that will inspire each mixologist’s artini.
Want to preview each creation so you can vote for your favorite? Then stop by any of the participating venues or attend an upcoming feature night, where you can sample the artinis with members of the 1869 Society’s Steering Committee and ARTINI’s Host Committee. Remaining feature nights include one on March 16 at POV at the W Hotel, March 17 at SEI, March 18 at Farmers & Fishers, March 23 at The Gibson, March 24 at Art and Soul, and March 25 at Rasika. Twenty percent of the bar sales from each feature night will support the ArtReach program. And don’t forget to buy your gala tickets now before they sell out! (Here’s a tip: Join the 1869 Society, the Corcoran’s young professionals group, and get a break on the ticket price plus other perks, including access to private exhibition museum previews and receptions, invitations to special events, and free or reduced admission to exciting public programs.)