New York's Best-Kept Secrets: The Second Annual Coffee/Cocktail Mashup

June 21, 2012 9:14 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
coffee cocktail
Coffee? Cocktails? Now your heart can race *and* your words can slur. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

In this new section of our site, we're going to bet letting you know about all those great food-and-drink happenings you always happen to miss. Appropriately, we're kicking it off with a competition that we were sore to miss last year but sure to catch this time around.

This Sunday, June 24th, sees the always-trendy Weather Up Tribeca, with its dim speakeasy lighting jittering nervously off of subway-tiled walls, setting the perfect stage for the Second Annual Coffee/Cocktail Mashup. Hoping to become a permanent fixture in the culinary-competitive circuit, the Mashup is a contest pitting the brightest and boldest voices in morning and evening imbibables against each other for glory, bragging rights, and all the epicurean marbles.

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Over the course of one month prior to the big day, Cora Lambert, the chief organizer of the event and coffee director at RBC NYC, paired together five teams of one barista and one bartender each in the hopes that the match-ups would mix well. Alex Bernson, a competitor whose resume boasts the position of Espresso Educator & Barista at Joe's Coffee, explained that "...each of [the competitors'] roles was to bring [their] palettes to the table and hash it out." While he did not know his partner, Brad Farran of the be-sure-to-go-there-for-the-love-of-God Clover Club, prior to the competition, he stands by Lambert's decision to match them with one another based on "similar sensibilities."

"I have a decent chunk of spirit knowledge, I know the broad strokes of possible flavors there are," Bernson began, "but [Farran's] technique is fantastic... much deeper and much more finely tuned [than mine]. What he could do that I couldn't is determine the ideal ratios of different ingredients to balance them out, and what I can do that he can't is manipulate the flavor profiles we got from each coffee preparation."

As big fans of both Joe's and Clover, we're very excited to see what this team serves up on Sunday night. Without giving too much away, Bernson promises that it will be "a drink that uses strong flavor cohesion and cutting-edge technique to highlight the unique flavors of some of the best micro-lots of Guatemala El Injerto from Stumptown Coffee."

If you don't know what any of that means but your tastebuds are dying to find out, head on out to Weather Up Tribeca this Sunday. At $22.09, it's a steal-and-a-half, and maybe one of the best ways we can think of to spend a hot, sunny Sunday night. You can purchase your tickets from Eventbrite here.


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