A couple of Fridays ago, we attended the Ann Arbor Art Center’s fundraiser Artini with friends. Artini is basically a martini crawl. There are 11 bars and restaurants that participate and you get six tickets, each good for one drink. And martini here is basically a cocktail. The event was sponsored by Pearl Vodka and Gin, so all of the drinks contained a Pearl spirit.
We started at mash with the drink pictured above: blue curacao, cranberry juice, and vodka. And it was disgusting, it tasted just like cold medicine. It was good to start with the worst drink of the night as things went up from there! We also got dinner while we were there, so our stop at mash took a little over an hour while the stops at the other bars were only for 10 minutes or so as we were only there for a drink and were not seated.
Second up was Vinology Wine Bar & Restaurant. The drink was served in a glass (I state this because some places used plastic) coupe, my favorite cocktail glass! It was made with basil-infused vodka, melon-serrano chile simple syrup, and lemon juice. It was garnished with a lemon zest “marble.” This drink was good, but not great, though miles above than the mash attempt! I wanted more heat and flavor from the peppers.
Our third location was Habana. The cocktail was pretty and was made with coriander vodka, black cherry vodka, tamarind, and vanilla liquor. It was a little bitter for me, but overall not bad. After Habana, we went over to Vellum. They definitely win for best garnish, a wedding cake-flavored cake ball! The drink was made with cake-flavored vodka, creme de cacao, and orange liqueur. I had a little of the drink and then ate the garnish, the super sweet garnish make the drink sour tasting so I definitely liked the drink before the garnish better.
Our last two stops were the Alley Bar and Bab’s Underground Lounge. While we’ve been to Bab’s many times before, this was our first visit to the Alley Bar. And we were glad we stopped there! They had our favorite drink of the night and they ended up winning best drink of Artini 2014! It was made with ginger-infused gin, lime cordial, and Sprite (I think, my notes say sprit, whatever that is!). It was so delicious! I’m not usually a gin fan, but it wasn’t really that herbal flavor that I associate with gin. The ginger and the lime worked so well together. I really wanted another! My second favorite drink was at Bab’s, whipped cream vodka, Irish cream, and hazelnut liquor. It was a nice dessert drink to finish the night!