Well, maybe not food.
Yes, writing a travel blog is a tough life, one full of weariness, but at times...at times something like this happens: you (if you were me) get invited to join a panel of judges who will determine the winning cocktail in a drink contest sponsored by the soon-to-be-open OM Restaurant, the brainchild of these talented folks:
From left to right, owners Randy Norman and Vik Uppal, and "cuisineer" Raghavan Iyer, he of the fabulous cookbook 660 Curries. OM put out a call recently for Indian-inspired drinks to serve when the restaurant opens (hopefully next month), culled the entries to 10, and invited a highly sophisticated, uniquely diligent group of people to test them. Oh, and they invited me too.
Yes--10 drinks. No--we didn't each get full drinks as shown above. We were asked to rate the appearance, so one full drink was made as a demonstration of how it would look, then we were given smaller versions.
Trust me, there were a whole lot more of these little glasses set out before we started.
What can I say? The winner hasn't been announced yet, although I have a sneaking suspicion who it is (we scored each drink, and the results were tabulated after we left). I can tell you that there are some mighty creative folks out there with interesting ideas about how to incorporate Indian flavors into an alcoholic beverage. Did you know there's a saffron-infused vodka? Or a ginger liqueur? Me either.
I can also say that I'm very excited to try OM when it opens. It's got the distinct probability of being very spiffy. And yes, I'm quite sure that when the gentleman above sat down to create the restaurant, "spiffy" was the main quality they were aiming for.