Along with the countless amount of exhibitor booths and displays to check out, Horeca offered up a number of great programs for visitors, participants and in this case media to enjoy. An interactive Wine and Beverage Lab is set up daily hosing wine and cocktail tasting, lectures and more. On the second day of Horeca BeirutNightLife.com editors were invited to take part in a cocktail tasting contest. I must say that was a delicious treat.
My colleague and I were introduced to the mixology lab bar tenders by host Najib Motan, who also welcomed everyone to the workshop. Fadi Jaadan (from Zabad) and Sevag Jerejian (from Frootini) were the bar tenders for the evening. Both drink makers explained their specialties for the day…at this point I knew it was going to be hard to choose a favorite.
Fadi Jaadan made it clear he was proud to be Lebanese! He had innovative recipes where he used traditional Lebanese garnishes such as fresh zaatar, fennel with Arak, beetroot and more. Savag is more of a traditional cocktail mixer, he has won bartending competitions and is well known for his fun flare.
Fadi began working on his Mojito with a Lebanese twist. He worked on the cocktail literally as if he was cooking, beating some of the ingredients into a bowl before finally mixing. The very delicious drink contained; beetroot, fresh zaatar, brown sugar, lime juice, lemon juice, Seven-Up and white rum. The ingredients resulted in a refreshing drink with excellent taste and texture. Savag started out with an aperitif called Desert Rose, a drink that was perfect for cocktail drinkers who love a strong taste. While it was a bit too strong for my colleague and I, others seemed to enjoy the mixture made from rose wine, litche syrup, caramel cyrup, Bombay gin, Campari and fresh mint.
Between drinks we took a short break to discuss how each drink was made. We touched on the three main aspects when tasting a cocktail, which are the first moment catching your eye with presentation/appeal, second would be nose/smell, and last is the attack or taste.
*A quick tip for tasters: If you have a bitter tasting drink and follow it with another bitter drink, the taste from your first drink would have accumulated on your pallet causing the second cocktail’s bitterness to seem higher than it actually is. This may cloud your judgment regarding the second cocktail.
Continuing on to our final cocktails… This time Fadi used the fennel with arak, and additional terroir products to construct yet another delicious refreshing drink, this time blended. Savag offered up an Amaretto Sour digestif that included tasty Amaretto and cucumbers, again a bit strong but well notably delicious.
After hanging out at the bar and enjoying the well made drinks, my colleague and I decided the top two drinks were the Amaretto Sour and the Mojito…First place going to Fadi Jaadan’s Lebanese style Mojito. Visit Fadi at Zabad and ask him to make it for you!
Stay logged into BeirutNightLife.com to see the full gallery of photos for this event coming soon.
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