Monday March 01, 2010 | 09:26 PM

The people sampled, debated, weighed their options, sampled again and finally voted for the best of the bunch at tonight's Maine Bartenders Bash at the Portland Museum of Art. Tom Laslavic of Natalie's Restaurant at Camden Harbour Inn took top honors with his Camden Hike cocktail, which like all the drinks featured Cold River Vodka at its heart. The slightly-sweet, slightly-tart mix tasted like Maine summer in a glass.

After the votes were tallied and Tom picked up his $500 cash prize, I snapped this photo of Oscar Verest, right, who owns the inn with Raymond Brunyanszki, center, who is pointing to the night's top mixologist while raising the winning concoction.

A sold out event and the kick-off to Restaurant Week Maine, the party attracted 300 people who sampled 15 different drinks before casting their ballots. After talking to lots of these people, I know folks had a hard time picking from a field of really excellent drinks, whose more exotic entrants included the Blood Orange Beet Martini by Amie Kitchen (Hilton Freeport), a vodka-Allagash mix called The Native by Scott Doherty (Vignola) and the bacon-flavored and -garnished Mud Bath by Carolyn Giles (Back Street Bistro).

I'll have more details about the drinks and the people who got to sample them (plus lots of photos) in this weekend's Scene & Heard section of the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Until then, here's a winning recipe sure to be a hit at your next cocktail party.

Camden Hike

Created by Tom Laslavic of Natalie's Restaurant

1 1/2 oz. Cold River Vodka

1/2 lemon, squeezed

1 tsp. blueberry puree

1 tsp. blackberry puree

1/4 oz. Creme de Cassis

1/2 oz. honey

Club soda

Fresh berries and thick lemon peel garnish

Mixed and shaken, pour into iced glass topped with cold club soda & garnished with fresh berries and lemon peel.

 

 

 

 

About the Author

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Avery Yale Kamila dishes about southern Maine's hottest parties.

Avery can be contacted at 791-6297 or akamila@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @AveryYaleKamila

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