May 4, 2010

Opening Night Cocktail Party

The Pour

White Cosmopolitans from Daniel



What better way to kick off the inaugural LUCKYRICE Festival than to have a full-blown Asian-inspired cocktail party? The weather was quite perfect for this bubbly-boozy night at The Bowery Hotel, hosted by Kelly Choi. In addition to experiencing the exotic flavors of ginger, lychee, rhubarb and yuzu, I also got to hang out with three other food bloggers: Amy (of Amy Blogs Chow), Jess (of Food Mayhem), and Tina (of The Wandering Eater). We sipped various cocktails and snacked on a couple hors d'oeuvres while watching the mixologists work their deadly magic. Before I dive into the details, I just want to thank LUCKYRICE for granting me the complimentary access into this event.

Similar to my experience at the Hudson Terrace Craft Beer Tasting, I was not capable of trying everything. (If I did, I probably would've ended up on the floor). I am pretty confident that the best cocktail of the night was the Mugi-Woogie from the Tippling Bros. A mixture of Mugi Shochu, Plum Sake, Yuzu Juice, and Chestnut Honey was presented in a skinny water glass. Along the rim, they dabbled an addictive mix of wasabi powder and nori bits. The flavors of this cocktail were just right: not too sweet, not overpowering, sensually smooth and had a spicy kick. I didn't even care that the seaweed kept getting stuck in my teeth! The bad news is that that this drink is not available in NYC. The good news (at least for me) is that I have been promised to receive a similar recipe from Tad Carducci. With a good Mugi-Woogie-Wannabe in my hand, I can totally see it being a glorious summer.

Another cocktail I also enjoyed was the White Cosmopolitan from Daniel. It consisted of Kissui Vodka, St-Germain, White Cranberry Juice and Lime. To add a bit of creative flair to the presentation, each martini glass was chilled by a frosty ice orb frozen with an orchid flower inside (as shown above). It reminded me of the Lush Bath Bombs that you throw in the tub; what a brilliantly playful and functional drink cooler. The white cranberry juice and hints of elderflower revamped this otherwise overdone cocktail into a new and memorable experience.

Other cocktails that I tried and enjoyed:
  • Apoth├ęke's Dragon's Breath: Mekhong Rum, Lychees, Agaves & Pressed Lime
  • EN Japanese Brasserie's Homemade Ginger Ale with Rice Shochu: Hakutake Shiro, Homemade Ginger Syrup, Lime & Glub Soda
  • Momofuku's Hoarfrost: Yamazaki 12 Year Whisky, Calamansi Juice, Grapefruit Syrup, Ginger Syrup, Orange Bitters & Ramp Leaves
  • Pegu Club's Plum Lady: Gin, Plum Wine, Plum Brandy & Cherry Liquer
  • Summit Bar's Charmane's Star: Kissui Vodka, Cucumber, Shiso Leaf, Vietnamese Cinnamon Infused Agaves & Rhubarb Bitters
With so many alcoholic beverages in the room, you'd think that they would have a substantial food selection to offset the risk management, but no. There were two options: Crispy BonChon Chicken Wings and a delicious Corn Crema with Tropical Fruit Salad & Condensed Milk Toast from Spot. While both food options were tasty, I wish that I could have filled my stomach with a couple more things. I don't know about all of the other Asians in the room (well, with exception to Amy), but I'm a lightweight. I either need to really pace myself or prepare for a rough taxi home.

Click for more pics! 

Check out LUCKYRICE's video summary on YouTube


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