Champion mixologist, Felicia Grossi Of Alchemy Bistro, was announced today at Ryan & Wood Distillery as the winner of the first “Spirit of Gloucester Cocktail Contests” with her drink “Simpler Tides”. The contest is being held at each of the 3 Downtown Gloucester Block Parties of 2013 and Block Party Organizers designed it to increase the synergy and camaraderie between the Sponsoring Supporter Ryan and Wood Distillery, local restaurants and the block party participants.
For More information about Gloucester’s Ryan and Wood Distillery Check Out Their Very Informative Website Here http://www.ryanandwood.com/
Gloucester mixologists in the block party were challenged to create a winning cocktail using Ryan & Wood’s Folly Cove™ Rum and these restaurants rose to the challenge: Short & Main, Dogbar, Giuseppes, Ohana, Topside Grill, Alchemy and Lat43.
Ryan & Wood is a local distillery based in Blackburn Industrial Park whose owners Bob and Kathy Ryan are natives of Gloucester. The Ryans branded the name of each of the participating 7 restaurants on an oak cask which they placed side by side at their Block Party table on Main Street. Partygoers were encouraged to go and try a sample of the different drinks at each restaurant, which were also offered on the menus in a full-size for purchase. They then voted for their favorite concoction by placing a wooden nickel, distributed to the restaurants by the sponsor, in that restaurant’s cask.
Over 400 people voted in the spirited contest, which is an astonishing 20%, assuming even that 2000 people attended the first block party.
The contest was feverish and the vote was close. Grossi’s success was said to be due to her careful research of the rum, and a team effort in which Owner and Serenitee Executive Chef Jeff Calas suggested his favorite drink “Pain Killer” as the inspiration; Restaurant General Manager Danny came up with the drink name and Alchemy Executive Chef Scott Jensen added the final “Midas Touch” with his special, traditional Italian meringue which Grossi torched into a brulee before garnishing it with a fresh-cut flower.
Bob Ryan expressed his gratitude and amazement when he said “This was about Gloucester for Gloucester and everybody contributed. I had not realized how much the staff of each restaurant would have to do to get the thing going. I had friends tell me that they went into restaurants they had never been in, to try the cocktails, so I do think these great efforts were rewarded.”
Gloucester Downtown Block Party Committee Head Valerie Marcley commented “This contest fits into our block party criteria for any sponsor or event: It has to be free, fun and adds to the party. Stay tuned for the GDBP August 17th contest, featuring Ryan and Wood’s Beauport Gin™.”