Last Thursday, I got a sneak peek of Craft Spirit of Poe, a gothic cocktail fundraiser that challenges local mixologists to author bespoke cocktails inspired by Edgar Allen Poe stories. Proceeds from the event benefit Les Dames d’Escoffier DC’s scholarship and grant programs for women in the food, beverage and hospitality industries.
On Thursday, judges Chantal Tseng (Red Eye Menu), Derek Brown (Drink Co.), Kelly Magyarics (Craft Spirit Exchange) and Emily Heil (Washington Post) had the difficult task of tasting and evaluating 12 different concoctions and interpreations of Poe. The main event will take October 6th, the day before the anniversary of Poe’s death, at The Loft at 600F, and you can still purchase tickets here ($45). There, attendees will find out who the juries picked for the Poe prize for best interpretative cocktail. They’ll also get their say by voting in the People’s Choice Poe-letariate Award by putting dollar bills in the tip jars of each mixologist. The one will the most tips will win, though all of the tips will be donated back to Les Dames d’Escofier.
My personal favourite cocktail from the friendly competition was one of two inspired by My Heart Tell Tale Heart, which also happened to be the only Edgar Allen Poe inspiration story that I actually remember reading. Both Erin Goodman of Roofers Union and Meghan Coyle of Twisted Horn (the upcoming new bar from the Hank’s Oyster Bar team) crafted cocktails based on the story and I loved them both though Erin’s version with green hat gin, spiced chai, pomegranate seeds and grenadine bitters acting as the heart beating thru floor edge the other one out in my books. In addition to all the cocktails, Tuesday’s event will also feature a game of JeoPOEdy and very own Haiku POE-m with the help of Haiku masters. How fun!
You can learn more about the event, and buy tickets here.