Sunday, October 7, 2012

Gin 101 at the Boston Cocktail Summit

 It seemed like all kinds of festivals were going on around town this weekend in Boston.  From the  Boston Seafood festival to the Boston Local Food Festival (post to follow shortly), it has been a weekend jam packed with food related favorite:)
On top of all these things, this weekend was Boston's first ever Boston Cocktail Summit. From the kick off events on Thursday, to Saturday evening's After, After party at Citizen Public House, Boston was inundated with the best bartenders in America's beverage industries popping up here, there and everywhere to share their wealth of knowledge.

The Summit was clustered with Epic cocktail parties (ahem...The Thing), special events at restaurants all over town and informative seminars held at the Park Plaza.  The seminars had huge range, from morning after Retox to Detox, to Whiskey and Bourbon talks, all led by stars of the industry. 

Despite my busy weekend, I was able to make it to a couple of the parties as well as the 'Making Great Gin Drinks at Home' seminar led by Tony Abou-Ganim, aka, The Modern Mixologist.  
Our tables were all set up with an impressive cocktail making set, courtesy of Bombay Sapphire...we were about to mix some pretty tasty drinks:)

 For the next 2 hours, Tony took us on a detailed and thorough journey of some of the most quintessential Gin-based drinks.  We started with a refreshing Tom Collins, moved onto the Negroni (pictured above), which was my personal favorite. 
A perfect dry martini was next on the list, followed an Aviation and finally, a South Side cocktail. (A gin twist on your Mojito)  

Although my favorite was the Negroni; a mix of gin, campari and sweet vermouth, I must admit, that my absolute favorite thing were the Maraschino cherries that went into the Aviation drink (fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, gin, violette and marachino.  I think I lost count of how many of these little taste bombs I had...I could not help myself:)
By the end of the seminar, I felt much more in tune with the versatility of Gin, an alcohol I have only recently begun to really enjoy.  All throughout the seminar, Tony was a true entertainer, somehow turning any cocktail making tool or technique into something sultry and enticing... admittedly, this got a bit old towards the end... 
I learned and drank a lot, two things the Boston Cocktail Summit held in the highest regard.  The Summit was a wildfire success and one I hope will be repeated again soon.
For now, I would like to part with one of my favorite quotes from Tony:
'Never underestimate the power of a good garnish because a drink is only as good as its lowest denominator'
Somehow, I feel like this pearl can be applied in all aspects of life.
And on that note, cheers:)


  1. Quite the impressive cocktail making set-up! This sounds like an awesome event, especially because I love gin, but tend to only make gin and tonics (delicious, but boring...I should branch out!).