Mixologist Gina Chersevani Makes a Mean Martini

The District's top mixologists and bartenders battled it out to win top honors and year-long bragging rights at the Beacon Hotel's Best Martini in D.C. contest. Concocting delicious and cutting-edge specialty cocktails, bartenders used Absolut's Berri Acai vodka to create one-of-a-kind drinks for a panel of judges.

"I worked really, really hard on my drinks so I'm really glad that I won this year," said Gina Chersevani of PS 7 after taking top honors at the event. Her cotton-candy cocktail -- which she dubbed "The Smoking Brazilian" -- used hibiscus lemon to play up the acai berry flavor.

Last year's first-place winner, Gina Scarpulla of the Beacon Bar and Grill, said she was happy the legacy of women winners was still going strong.

"We're trying to keep it that the women top it every year," she said.

Area bartenders including Poste's Rico Wisner, Alliance Tavern's Chris Cunningham, St. Ex's Jonathon Fein, Ten Penh's Babak Pakravan, Nage's Matthew Wilcox, Scott Passer of Nova Lounge (who created a lemon cucumber martini) and Hudson Restaurant's Antonio Hurley (who created his acai cocktail with cream of coco). They all competed for the top prize of $750.

Washingtonians were able to taste each specialty cocktail created by their favorite bartenders and then vote on their favorites.

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