Fridays in May are always tough. For the last seven years, after judging martinis on Thursdays the next day is slower than the rest. It's like I've put bad gas in the car and it sputters along, eventually getting to where it's going, but belching out a lot of soot in the process.
Don't get me wrong, last night was fun and I wouldn't give up my gig as a martini judge lightly, but it is hard work. I try to take it seriously. We sampled nine different martinis and cocktails, some of them good, some of them not so good and some of them (to use an intentional double negative) I didn't dislike.
While I don't want to out those I liked, as we still have one more week of regular judging to do, I will have to say that The Bouquet's entries surprised us. Usually first year bars have a tough time with putting a trio of good martinis out there. I would definitely say that The Bouquet made a strong showing. I'd recommend anyone go check out their martinis and see the new place.
When you go up against two heavyweights, Chandler's and Pair, two bars with a load of martini awards in their back pocket, it is hard to outshine. It's like a 100 watt bulb amongst a bunch of 250 watt bulbs. It's still bright, but doesn't "glow" like the rest.