Memphis Iron Shaker Sounds Like a Reason for a Road Trip



I can't think of a more appropriate time to visit Memphis than this weekend for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In case you haven't read, the National Civil Rights Museum, located at the Lorraine Hotel where Dr. King was assassinated, has recently opened the actual balcony where the event took place. I've heard from friends that it is an extremely moving experience to be able to stand on that infamous balcony, and the tour I took of the museum a few years back was really remarkable. Unfortunately, due to the expected volume of visitors, they won't be giving balcony tours this weekend, but it's still definitely worth the trip.

To sweeten the pot a little bit for you Bitesters, there's also a fun event happening in the Bluff City on Sunday night that I highly recommend. Our local heroes at Corsair Artisan Distillery are sponsoring the Iron Shaker Cocktail Competition, featuring the top bartenders in the Mid-South, 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20. The event will be held at Hog and Hominy, which is rapidly becoming one of the favorite restaurants in Memphis. Proprietors Andy Tice and Michael Hudman are the same geniuses behind Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, another of the best dining spots in Memphis. Last year they opened a homey pizza joint and Southern kitchen across the street from their original location and named it Hog and Hominy. Complete with a bocce court to while away the time while you wait for a table at this popular spot, the location of the Iron Shaker alone should make it worth the trip. Here are the details:

Four teams will compete in the Iron Chef-style contest which will feature five secret ingredients; each team must utilize three of the secret ingredients to create a balanced, original cocktail using Corsair products.

Local food and beverage professionals will judge the four cocktails based on Originality, Utilization, Balance, Taste and Presentation. Judges include Hannah Sayle, Melissa Peterson, Ryan Trimm, Justin Fox Burks, Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman. Richie Lewis of Joe’s Liquor will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

The participating bartenders are Michael Hughes, representing Joe’s Liquor; Jayce McConnell, representing Snackbar in Oxford, MS; Anna Katherine Metzger, representing 12Bar on Beale; and Nick Talarico, representing Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and Hog & Hominy.

Tickets can be purchased for $30 per person, which includes a Welcome Cocktail from each team and each of the four Competition Cocktails. Proceeds from ticket sales will go toward Grow Memphis. A People’s Choice category will award the Competition Cocktail that receives the most votes by guests.

It's not too late to make weekend plans, so consider a trip west on I-40.

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