The DC Craft Bartenders Guild -- yes indeedy, there really is such a thing -- is holding a cocktail competition for Rickey Month, which honors the famous cocktail that was first made here in D.C.
Made from any base liquor, lime juice, sparkling mineral water and ice, the first Rickey was created with bourbon whiskey in 1883 at Shoemaker's at the request of Colonel Joe Rickey. The classic cocktail, allegedly concocted during a pre-air conditioning heat wave, became a worldwide sensation when it was also mixed with gin. Because obviously, the more liquor, the more appeal.
This month's competition has brought 15 local mixologists to create their own Rickey with either Hendrick's Gin or Woodford Reserve Bourbon. Sample the results at: Tabard Inn, Founding Famers, Café Atlantico, Zaytinya, Rasika, Jaleo, Inox, Room 11, The Gibson, PX, Bourbon, Proof, Tryste, PS7 and Poste. Phew, we're out of breath. Which is weird considering that was typed.
Then go vote on your favorite at Metromix D.C.
However, if you hope to try all 15 Rickey renditions, you better put your drinking into overdrive -- because the competition will culminate with a party at Bourbon (2321 18th St. N.W.) on Aug. 3 from 6:30-10:30 p.m., when the winner of the People's Choice Rickey will be announced. Special guest judges, including Amanda McClements of Metrocurean.com, Fritz Hahn of The Washington Post's Going Out Gurus, and "American Bartender of the Year" Jim Meehan of PDT will also hand out a Judge's Choice with a $1,000 cash prize.
Your $10 cover charge for the par-tay includes a classic gin or bourbon Rickey. There will also be plenty of cash bars where the contestants will be serving up their creations all night long. Gird your liver.