Smith Street Bartenders Face Off in Gin Cocktail Challenge

By Nikhita Venugopal on October 8, 2013 12:36pm 

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 The Smith Street Classic is a month-long cocktail-making contest between Brooklyn bartenders. 
The Smith Street Classic
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COBBLE HILL — It's a battle of the bartenders.

The Smith Street Classic is challenging some of Cobble Hill's best mixologists to craft a signature cocktail based on gin — and New Yorkers can vote to pick their favorite.

Bar Tabac, Arthur on Smith, Dassara Brooklyn Ramen and Hunter’s all made a cocktail for the competition, which started Oct. 1 and continues through the end of the month, organizer Ruen Ellis said.

“The bartenders have to be really creative,” Ellis said.

To make the cocktail, the bartenders must use at least 1 1/2 ounces of gin from Greenhook Ginsmiths (but no more than two ounces) and 3/4 of an ounce of Lejay Cassis, a French liqueur.

While no other spirits can be added to the recipes, bartenders can mix sparking wine or homemade infusions into their drinks, Ellis said.

A $35 ticket allows drinkers to sample one cocktail from each of the four competing restaurants during this month and then vote for their favorite, either online or at one of the venues.

The winner will be announced in early November.

Ellis hopes the challenge will introduce diners to Smith Street restaurants and the cocktails they serve.

“You have people who really enjoy good food and a great cocktail,” he said.

Twenty percent of all ticket sales will benefit the Robin Hood Foundation's Hurricane Sandy recovery work.

This is Ellis’ second Brooklyn cocktail contest, following the DeKalb Classic, which challenged Fort Greene’s bartenders in a similar competition in April, DNAinfo New York reported.

In November, the winners of the Smith Street and DeKalb Avenue challenges will go head to head in another boozy competition, Ellis said.

He also hopes to bring the cocktail challenge to north Brooklyn, possibly focusing on Williamsburg's Bedford Avenue.

To buy tickets for the Smith Street Classic, visit this website.

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