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Austin Cocktail Throwdown 2009

16 September 2009 3,663 views 29 Comments

Congratulations on being the potential winner of two spots on the guest list for the 2009 Austin Cocktail Throwdown! If you win, you’ll be part of the exclusive event at the super cool Gibson Guitar Showroom in Penn Field on Thursday, Sept. 24. This is an invite-only event where the drinks will be free and a’flowin!

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Since 2004, the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB) and Tito’s Handmade Vodka have awarded “The Official Drink of Austin” to a local drinking establishment. For the first four years, bartenders competed to create a “Batini” in honor of our local bat community that captures the flavors of Austin. For the first three years, just a few local hotels were invited to compete and the Four Seasons took home the title year after year.

In 2007 the organizers mixed it up — pun intended, and invited bartenders from throughout the city to submit recipes. That year, Lamberts Downtown Barbecue took over the title with their spicy Batini recipe.

Redbud

Redbud

I don’t know about you but a Batini doesn’t sound all that appetizing to me…I picture murky waters and the smell of bat guano that overtakes my senses when running under the Congress bridge on Town Lake. I get where the idea came from…bats come out at night, people tend to drink the most at night, bats are a big tourist attraction in Austin, etc.

In 2008 the organizers stuck with the “Official Drink of Austin” title and dropped batini — the drink could now be called whatever it darn well pleased. The winner was Ranch 616 with their “Fire in the Hole” — a shot made with Paula’s Orange Liquor, lime juice, cayenne and chili powder served in a jalapeño and with a Lone Star chaser.

This year’s winner will be determined next week…on Thursday, Sept. 24 at the Gibson Guitar Showroom in Penn Field. Activities will include hot dogs from Frank, sipping Tito’s and local beer, listening to live music, and hanging out with old and new friends. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some debauchery as well…stay tuned for incriminating Facebook pics (yes, I’m bringing my camera).

The five finalists highlighting Tito’s Vodka in their drinks include:

Mole on the Rocks, by Fino‘s Bill Norris
Treaty Oak Rum, Paula’s Texas Orange, chocolate bitters, and Norris’ house made mole syrup

Enlightened Austin Martini, by La Condesa‘s Nate Wales
St. Germain Elderflower Liquer, watermelons, agave nectar, lime

Lady Bird, by Stephen F’s Bar & Terrace‘s Nicholas Patrizi and Danelle Awtrey
St. Germain, Paula’s Texas Lemon, garnished with a lemon carved like a Texas rose!

Redbud, by Paggi House‘s Tori Tinnon
Pepper, Grenadine, orange, lime, grapefruit bitters

Shirley Bird Tea, by Hyatt Lost Pines Resort & Spa‘s Larry Lanctot
Ginger liquer, hibiscus mint tea, honey, lemon, mint

How can YOU win tickets to taste these amazing drinks and vote for your favorite?

Lady Bird

Lady Bird

Just comment below and share a little-known local food secret. I’m talkin’ bout insider information like where to get free food, amazing discounts, fabulous experiences, etc. To give you an idea, this might include the best time and grocery store to taste free samples, a bar that offers complimentary snacks with your drink, etc. No tip is too low or too highfalutin for me!

I’ll award a PAIR of tickets to the author(s) of my FIVE favorite insider tips. Please feel free to submit more than once — if you have a couple great ideas that are new to me, you can win ‘m all as far as I’m concerned.

Submission deadline is this FRIDAY, Sept. 18. I’m compiling a list of these insider tips and will share them with you in an upcoming post and/or KGSR Thursday morning show. Everyone wins!

Speaking of KGSR and drinking, tune in tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. CT Thursday when the boys and I are joined by June Rodil, beverage director at Uchi and winner of the 2009 Texas’ Best Sommelier at the annual conference last month. She’ll talk — and we’ll sample — sparkling wine, white wine, and sake.

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  • rthomas

    The Texican Cafe has free food at their happy hours, Sullivan's has $5 steaks with spinach and mushrooms on Sunday and Thursday nights,

  • allysahn

    Mrs. Johnson's donuts on airport always gives you a free donut on top of the the box that you order so you can have one right away. and its a good thing, I couldn't sit in my car and smell those heavenly donuts for more than a second or two before tearing into the box.

  • jodibart

    Cool! $5 steaks kinda freaks me out. Are they good?

  • jodibart

    Great tip! I forgot about that free doughnut. It's amazing because I've bought one and gotten one free there as well. Not sure if that is their custom or not. Another fun thing about Mrs. Johnson's is that it's open all night so you can grab a doughnut fresh from the fryer/glazer and enjoy. Sweet clouds of heaven.

  • JasonG

    There's a free full appetizer buffet at Submerged Lounge (2nd & Trinity) every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 5pm to 8pm.

  • JasonG

    Blu Cafe (3rd & Nueces) has $5.99 bottomless mimosas from 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM every Sunday.

  • JasonG

    Free appetizers at Molotov next Wednesday from 8pm – 10pm.

  • JasonG

    And by the way, I've had La Condesa's Enlightened Austin Martini. It's delicious and refreshing :)

  • Reid

    Sago Modern Mexican (at the Triangle) has a new happy hour with 20% off ALL entrees and discounted drinks between 5-7pm every day!! Their green salsa is one of my favorites in Austin, and they have this awesome Mexican martini with muddled jalapenos!

  • rthomas

    they're great. no need to freak lol

  • jodibart

    Are all of these folks your clients or do you work for them? If so, I hope you'll disclose that.

  • jodibart

    Good to know! I'll tell my friend Kristi who goes to the farmer's market there every Wed :-)

  • jackiehuba

    Starting Oct 15, go to Ego's (yes, that dive at Riverside and S. Congress) for $3.25 Tito's drinks and watch competitive karaoke from the National Karaoke League.

  • jodibart

    Are you competing? I think my friend David of The Forty Days fame is!

  • jackiehuba

    I captained a team for the summer season. But am sitting out fall season.

  • lorenzoperkins

    Zocalo on West Lynn has $2 sangrias and $6 carafes all day on Wednesdays…they are frozen and delicious. And of it's the first or third Wednesday of the month, you can run across the street to Cipollina for their $35 six course three wine farmers dinner and meet the farmer who grew the food you're eating. Awesome!!

  • jodibart

    What kind of apps do they offer? Do they taste good?

  • jodibart

    Good to know. I'm excited to try it, Jason. And apologies again for thinking you might be a PR person ;-)

  • jodibart

    You are the second person this week to mention those frozen margs at Zocalo and I've been dying to go to that monthly Cipollina dinner — I know they do another one each month too. I'm going to have to put that higher on my list. Thanks!

  • erinkrenek

    Free catering courtesy of Frank, Spanish Village, and Woodland at Mohawk during their Friday Beach Party Happy Hour from 5-8pm. Plus, they offer cheap drinks!

  • http://twitter.com/souppeddler The Soup Peddler

    My favorite little known food secret is Austin's loquat trees, which fruit in the spring/early summer. They're everywhere, they're incredibly delicious, and nobody picks their fruit. FruitRescue.org is trying to map the trees at http://austin.fruitrescue.org/fruit-info/austin

  • jodibart

    OMG I smell a tasty tour. Thanks, David!

  • jodibart

    Thank you all for your awesome suggestions! It was really tough to pick 5 winners for this Thursday's cocktail throwdown. Without further ado, the winners are:

    Erin Krenek
    Lorenzo Perkins
    Jason Geffner
    Ally Sahn
    R Thomas

    Two tickets in your name will be at the door this Thursday! Congratulations guys :-)

  • jodibart

    Please let them know at the door that you are guests of Tasty Touring as well — they will be filed that way :-)

  • jodibart

    Update! Looks like La Condesa mixes the new Official Drink of Austin!

    Jessica Dupuy on Texas Monthly's “Eat My Words” blog describes it as:

    A not-too-sweet Texas watermelon sipper designed by chic downtown Mexican restaurant, La Condesa: the “Enlightened Austin Martini.” A combination of simple flavors, this martini is made from Tito’s, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, fresh watermelon juice, agave nectar, and a squeeze of lime. Though the name certainly implies a mind-altering experience, this silky concoction definitely delivers on a haze of freshness and fruity flavor, but the hint of lime at the end brings you back to down to earth with a nice finish and of course, the urge to try one more.

    Link: http://www.texasmonthly.com/blogs/eatmywords/?p

    Want to make it at home?

    The Enlightened Austin Martini
    La Condesa, Elaine Garza and Mixologist Carol Bond

    * Tito’s Vodka
    * St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
    * Freshly juiced organic Texas (our farm is outside Mexia) watermelons
    * Organic agave nectar
    * A hint of lime

    Shake hard-pour “up” into a martini glass topped with an Elderflower Essence Cloud garnished with watermelon skewered “olives.”

  • jodibart

    Update! Looks like La Condesa mixes the new Official Drink of Austin!

    Jessica Dupuy on Texas Monthly's “Eat My Words” blog describes it as:

    A not-too-sweet Texas watermelon sipper designed by chic downtown Mexican restaurant, La Condesa: the “Enlightened Austin Martini.” A combination of simple flavors, this martini is made from Tito’s, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, fresh watermelon juice, agave nectar, and a squeeze of lime. Though the name certainly implies a mind-altering experience, this silky concoction definitely delivers on a haze of freshness and fruity flavor, but the hint of lime at the end brings you back to down to earth with a nice finish and of course, the urge to try one more.

    Link: http://www.texasmonthly.com/blogs/eatmywords/?p

    Want to make it at home?

    The Enlightened Austin Martini
    La Condesa, Elaine Garza and Mixologist Carol Bond

    * Tito’s Vodka
    * St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
    * Freshly juiced organic Texas (our farm is outside Mexia) watermelons
    * Organic agave nectar
    * A hint of lime

    Shake hard-pour “up” into a martini glass topped with an Elderflower Essence Cloud garnished with watermelon skewered “olives.”

  • jodibart

    Update! Looks like La Condesa mixes the new Official Drink of Austin!

    Jessica Dupuy on Texas Monthly's “Eat My Words” blog describes it as:

    A not-too-sweet Texas watermelon sipper designed by chic downtown Mexican restaurant, La Condesa: the “Enlightened Austin Martini.” A combination of simple flavors, this martini is made from Tito’s, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, fresh watermelon juice, agave nectar, and a squeeze of lime. Though the name certainly implies a mind-altering experience, this silky concoction definitely delivers on a haze of freshness and fruity flavor, but the hint of lime at the end brings you back to down to earth with a nice finish and of course, the urge to try one more.

    Link: http://www.texasmonthly.com/bl

    Want to make it at home?

    The Enlightened Austin Martini
    La Condesa, Elaine Garza and Mixologist Carol Bond

    * Tito’s Vodka
    * St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
    * Freshly juiced organic Texas (our farm is outside Mexia) watermelons
    * Organic agave nectar
    * A hint of lime

    Shake hard-pour “up” into a martini glass topped with an Elderflower Essence Cloud garnished with watermelon skewered “olives.”

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