Bitters & Bites in Salt Lake City

What happens when you put six of Salt Lake City’s best mixologists in one room, add hors d’oeuvres by some of the city’s best restaurants, bring a DJ and invite 200 people?  You get one awesome cocktail party, otherwise known as Sunday night’s Bitters & Bites event put on by SLC Bites.

The Bitters & Bites menu and Jimmy Santangelo's Pickles-n-Pimm's drink.
The Bitters & Bites menu and Jimmy Santangelo’s Pickles-n-Pimm’s drink.

SLC Bites hosts several events throughout the year focusing on food, art and culture.  Their latest event, held at the Leonardo Museum, focused on Salt Lake City’s talented bartenders and their ability to create amazing cocktails.  The featured stars were Scott Gardner of Finca, Matt Pfohl of Pallet, Ryan Manning of Takashi, Jimmy Santangelo of Copper Onion and Amy Eldredge of Bar-X.  Each mixologist created a signature drink to showcase their skills and each one was wildly different from the other.

Matt Pfohl mixing his Parral cocktail and Scott Gardner with his Already Dead drink.
Matt Pfohl mixing the “Parral” and Scott Gardner with the “Already Dead.”

Each mixologist was stationed at a table around the outside of the Leonardo’s top floor while drinkers wandered from table to table sipping on cocktails and mingling with other drinkers.  Freshly baked bread from Eva’s Boulangerie and artisan popcorn from Pop Art adorned tables throughout the space for munching, while stations of Beehive Cheese, Creminelli salumi, treats from Mazza and nibbles from Naked Fish were in the corner.

Naked Fish Hamachi Takai, Beehive cheese and Creminelli.
Naked Fish Hamachi Takai, Beehive cheese and Creminelli.

Four drinks were available per ticket (which were $40/each, including all “bites”) even though six drinks were offered.  Trying to decide which drinks to chose created an excuse to talk to everyone about their favorite drink.  Of course a friendly debate about which was better and why resulted.  (For the record, my favorite was Matt Pfohl’s “Parral” cocktail, with Vida Tequila, orange blossom water and Baker’s bitter.)

Bitters & Bites was quite the event!  For updates on upcoming SLC Bites events, follow SLC Bites on Twitter or their blog IHeartSLCBites.tumblr.com.  And remember, you can always visit the mixologists on their home turf to try out their cocktail creation skills!

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