March Madness, shaken with a twist

It's a March Madness of different kind for those who are less interested in the NCAA and more interested in vodka and martinis.

Meera Pal,

WASHINGTON – It’s a March Madness of different kind for those who are less interested in the NCAA and more interested in vodka and martinis.

Through the month of March, 10 restaurants at Bethesda Row will be showcasing the magic of their mixologists with martinis inspired by the coming summer season.

“Our motto is the uncommon mix of life and style, so we wanted them to create the ‘Uncommon Mix Martini,'” says Vanessa Rodriquez, head of marketing for Bethesda Row.

Each one-of-a-kind drink is available all day, every day at happy hour prices, she says.

At Mussel Bar, bar manager Leslie Shafer created the Pink Grapefruit Blossom with a look to the warmer weather ahead.

“I wanted something light and crisp,” she says of the drink that includes fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. “It’s not too sweet, not too sour.”

Other drinks include the Ginger Asian Pear Martini by Asian restaurant Raku, the Salute the Sun from Redwood Restaurant and Bar and the Pisco Eden from Lebanese Taverna.

Voting takes place for the best Bethesda Row-tini on Facebook through March 31. Voters can also enter to win dinner for 10 at one of the participating restaurants.

The Martini entries:

  • Lebanese Taverna, “Pisco Eden” with Blueberry Vodka, Sour Mix, Pisco and Grenadine.
  • Redwood, “Salute the Sun” with Boyd & Blair Vodka, Benedictine Liquer, Domaine de Canton Ginger Liquer, Lemon Juice, Old Fashioned Bitters and Grapefruit Bitter.
  • Mussel Bar, “Pink Grapefruit Blossom” with Belvedere Pink Grapefruit Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower Liquer, Grapefruit Juice, Simple Syrup.
  • Assaggi, “Cactus Pear Rowtini” with Cachaca, St. Germain Elderflower Liquer, Cactus Pear Puree and topped with Lovisolo Pinot Prosecco.
  • Jaleo tapas-bar, “Sidra del Silencio” with Bulleit Rye, La Gaitana Amontillado Sherry, Cider Reduction, Pomo Aurea Sidra Angustra bitters, topped with Poma Aurea Sidra.
  • Cafe Deluxe, “French Martini” with Absolute Vodka, Chambord Liquer, Bacardi Limon Rum, Pineapple Juice.
  • Mon Ami Gabi, “Hoya Highball” with SKYY Vodka, Gin, Rum, Tequila, Blue Curacao, Sour Mix, Sprite.
  • Vapiano, “White Pomegrante Cosmopolitan” with Stoli White Pomegranite Vodka, Triple Sec, Rose’s Lime Juice, White Cranberry Juice and Lime Wedge.
  • American Tap Room, “Midnight Spresso” with Van Gogh Espresso Vodka, Creme de Cacao Light, Stoli Vanilla Vodka, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and Espresso.
  • Raku, “Ginger Asian Pear Martini” with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Japanese Shochu, French Ginger Liqueur, Asian Pear Puree and a wedge of lime squeezed.

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