LOOP — What does autumn taste like?
There's no one ingredient specified for the live event. The only guidelines are that the cocktails are fall-inspired, creative and delicious, said event publicist Kristen Kaza.
A bit of advice for attendees from bartender Annemarie Sagoi: Drink in order from light to heavy cocktails so you don't "kill your palate."
Sagoi of The Dawson, opening next week at 730 W. Grand Ave., said she expects to see a lot of heavier brandy- and bourbon-based drinks, which is why she chose gin as her base spirit. To it, she'll add a homemade pear-vanilla shrub ("Fall to me is orchard — apples and pears," she said), 71/2-year apple brandy, lemon juice, soda water and a spritz of aquavit. The garnish counts; hers is an apple slice cut into a leaf shape.
Kaza said the cocktail challenge will be an annual event, as will the Reader's Key Ingredient Cook-Off, a similar spinoff of its series between chefs. The cook-off in May drew 500 people.
Tickets to the Fall Cocktail Challenge are $40.