At the Art League’s Art on the Rocks event at the Torpedo Factory, local bartenders mix art and spirits with cocktails inspired by the gallery’s Orbit exhibit, which “showcas[es] movement, cycles, or types of revolutions.” Participants include Chadwicks, DRP Belle Haven, Hank’s Pasta Bar, the Light Horse, RedRocks and Virtue Feed & Grain.
Jennifer Motruk of Alexandria Restaurant Partners (of which Virtue Feed & Grain, last year’s winner of the popular vote, is a part) explains how the mixologists craft their drinks: “It’s really about matching food and a cocktail and then finding art that fits … Really, it comes down to picking ingredients that we know are going to work well, ingredients that are popular and ingredients that are appreciated, ingredients that are standard perhaps in our cocktail menu creation, and [the bartenders] just go from there,” she says.
Last year’s winning cocktail, Potomac River Breeze, is a mix of New Amsterdam gin, Veev, fresh basil and lemon. Because of its popularity, Virtue made it a permanent fixture on their menu as the Summer Breeze.
Erica Fortwengler of the Art League says the event brings in patrons who may not normally frequent art exhibits.
“It’s really fun to see people who maybe don’t come to gallery events as often really look at artwork in a new and different way,” she says,
In addition to the drinks, each competitor is tasked with creating an appetizer that also reflects their chosen work of art. There are prizes for best pairing as well as for best individual cocktail with one winner of the popular vote and one selected by a panel of judges.
7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
$58.74-$69.24; Purchase tickets here.