Adam Sachs: Reverse martinis

A crowded press room. People in black tie watching the awards on TV. There is a palpable need for strong martinis. We're in luck. Sort of. The lovely Charlotte Voisey, William Grant & Sons mixologist, has a plan to save us all from our worst instincts. Tonight at the Hendricks Gin Bar she's serving thematically correct Reverse Martinis. "This was Julia Childs's favorite cocktail---very sophisticated and Julia knew best that too much ethanol before dinner killed your palate. Instead of 5-to-1 gin to vermouth, she drank 5-to-1 vermouth to gin." For tonight's VIP dinner, Voisey is swapping Lillet for vermouth. "It seemed right that we pay tribute to Julia with this drink." Fitting and probably saving VIP from standing for Very Inebriated Press.

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Louise McCready: Press room

Hendricks gin table in the press room: combining cocktail hour with tea time. img00027

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Awards Watch: Gala Gearing Up

Backstage at Avery Fisher Hall the Steinway pianos have been moved into hallways to make room for hot boxes and other catering equipment as the 28 female chefs take their positions on the promenade for the 19th annual JBF Awards gala. The Women in Food theme is evident in the bright pink table linens and the explosive bouquets of spring flowers. Between the chef stations, thirteen female mixologists from across the country are setting up their mixers and shakers. The press room is halfway set—with step and repeat in place. What's this? A Hendrick's Gin bar in the press room? Should make for interesting interviews. Countdown is 26 minutes to red carpet (tented, sadly, due to rain).

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