Fourth Annual RiverTini Pour-Off to mix it up on the River Walk
Published: June 13, 2012
Break out your best James Bond impression and shake the evening away at the fourth annual RiverTini Pour-Off, a San Antonio River Foundation fundraiser hosted by Hyatt Regency in their newly restored ballroom overlooking the San Antonio River. This night of martini madness will showcase San Antonio's premier restaurants and bars mixing smack-your-mama fresh martinis coupled with hors d'oeuvres from Q on the Riverwalk. What better excuse to amuse your bouche than to help the Foundation bring recreation, art, and public education to a broader expanse of the river?
The San Antonio River Improvements Project, a naturalistic expansion of the River Walk far to the south of downtown which is quickly becoming the longest linear urban park in the nation, has a budget of $400 million. While this seems like a lot to a cash-strapped writer, this only covers basic infrastructure needs for the 15-mile construction. The Foundation is raising additional money from corporations, foundations, and individuals to make the project sparkle with amenities. Established in 2003, the Foundation's mission is "to enhance the natural beauty, recreational use, and public appreciation of the entire San Antonio River." All proceeds from RiverTini will assist the Foundation with myriad ambitious projects, from erecting urban art benches to constructing Confluence Park at 310 West Mitchell on land purchased in 2007 from CPS Energy, who previously used the locale to store equipment and utility trucks. The Foundation hopes to convert this location adjacent to the river to a community pavilion with interactive water features that will allow the public to commune with nature.
If performing a social service isn't enough of an incentive to attend this soiree, let's talk 'tinis. The RiverTini Pour-Off 2012 will feature 18 participants in a friendly competition of mixology, including 2011 winner Cork Bar at Hotel Contessa, whose Spaniard Martini incorporated peach puree, citrus, and serrano peppers to create a tongue tango. The six-person judging panel will contain a range of experts, including the managing director of the Culinary Institute of America, judging on a 1 to 5 scale for flavor (yum), appearance (ooo, pretty!), and uniqueness (what the heck is that?).
"Keep it fresh and simple" advises Blanca Aldaco of Aldaco's Stone Oak, a 2012 judge and winner of the RiverTini Pour-Off for both 2009 and 2010. "And if it's too sweet, I'm going to faint."
Partygoers will also have the opportunity to partake as they sample the creative concoctions, which in the past have included such unique ingredients as sushi, Pop Rocks, and cucumber (though not in the same cocktail glass, we hope). Even smart phones will be able to get in on the action, as QR code technology will enable guests to take the martini recipes home with the click of a button.
Not enough, you say? Did I mention there will be a raffle too? For those too long out of college who have forgotten the allure of booze and snacks, there will be a range of goodies up for grabs at $100 per ticket, including a four-night condo stay in Vail, Colorado. "It's the perfect backdrop to showcase drinks designed to reflect the spirit, culture, and vitality of the river that flows through our city," said Estela Avery, executive director of the River Foundation. And nothing says river vitality like sushi and Pop Rocks. •
Fourth Annual RiverTini Pour-Off
$50 (includes martini samples and hors d'oeuvres, 21 and up; check Facebook and Twitter for pre-event happy hours)
5:30-7:30pm, Tue June 19