Portsmouth Cocktail Competition Wrapup

Sunday was the 5th annual Portsmouth Cocktail Competition hosted by Drinkwater Productions. This event highlighted 8 Restaurants as they shake, stir, muddle and mix their signature cocktail for a shot at the title of Best Portsmouth Signature Cocktail. As you can imagine from reading this blog, I am much more versed in the world of Beer than I am in cocktails, so Lisa gladly came with me to be my eyes ears and taste buds for this one. We strapped our event passes on and hit the streets to find Portsmouth’s best cocktail.

The event started at the Sheraton with their ‘Pink Flamingo’ cocktail. This was a mixture of Orange vodka, Malibu, Sprite, Lemon and a sprig of mint. This was served properly with a Flamingo stirrer and they were handing out flamingo head bands and pink beads. While this was all a good impression, the competition is about the cocktail. Lisa like the mint but felt the alcohol taste was missing which, like me, I want to taste a little to make sure it isn’t either A) too dangerous a drink and B) getting my money’s worth. In the end this drink tasted like an adult crystal light. Grade C

Next stop was the Page. I don’t frequent this bar a lot so I didn’t have big expectations for this cocktail. The fact is they met my expectations as having a disgusting cocktail. Their Almond Infused Tequila Mojito was like almond soda water with the essence of Tequila but no kick whatsoever. No style points for this thimble sized dixie cup serving. Grade D

Sprinting to Sake to erase the taste of almond seltzer from my mouth. Their signature cocktail was the Mai Tai. This is much like there scorpion bowl mixture, which is a good thing. Nice fruity taste reminding me of V8 splash or something of the like. Good one Sake! Grade B+/A-

Chef’s Table served up their Unh-Reel Margerita which was really tasty. They generously paired it with some calamari which was a big win in my book. We would definitely get the full version of this cocktail. She also gave us a sample of their Blood Infusion which is hot peppers and other veggies infused in vodka and then used in their Bloody Mary’s…wow that’s some spicy stuff! Grade A-

Riverhouse served up their Mainely Blue cocktail which had lemonade, splash of powerade, some sort of liquor (Malibu?) and a couple blueberries. Great tasting cocktail that would be refreshing on a hot day in Portsmouth. The powerade flavor came through but it was a nice taste. They also paired it with a bacon wrapped scallop, mmmm.Grade A

Dolphin Striker was one I did not have, as it had soda in it. Funny thing about me is I stopped drinking soda in 2005 and for some reason I can’t go back to it. Lisa was solo on this one. Their Ginger Lemonade tasted like crystal light and had ver little alcohol taste. Not too strong of a ginger taste but a little tart overall. Grade C

Fat Belly’s was another flop in my book. Great tap list, weird cocktail. Their sangria was basically peach schnapps but I could imagine it being better served properly in a big glass with some ice and fruit. Grade C-

Last but not least was Gas Light and their ‘Bucket’. The Bucket is 4 types of liquor mixed with juice served in…you guessed it… a bucket. Even though we only had a small sample, the bucket includes about 3 drinks in one which could be dangerous in large quantities. Tasted a little too much like cotton candy. Grade C+/B-

In our eyes, the winner is Riverhouse as this was the most flavorful of the cocktails we had. The results came out that night.

Official Results after voting tallied
1. Pink Flamingo- Sheraton
2. Ginger Lemonade- Dolphin Striker
3. Mai Tai- Sake

There was a theme of very fruity cocktails in this competition. I would like to see a mixture of sweet/savory cocktails next year. I was a little surprised at the restaurants I didn’t see in the competition (Red Door, Blue Mermaid) but maybe the competition was limited to 8 entries. I would have loved to see Gas Light put their Bloody Mary on the ballot because that’s a great beverage that this beer lover enjoys. Better luck next year!