Last weekend, City Roots hosted another cocktail challenge. Instead of the blank canvas of vodka as the base spirit, this competition featured Casamigos Tequila, a small batch, 100 percent agave tequila, heavily branded with the celebrity of its co-founder, George Clooney.
Bartenders representing Bourbon, Goatfeathers, Henry’s, Kelly’s, Motor Supply Co., The Oak Table, Rosso, Saki Tumi, Saluda’s, Speakeasy, Terra and The Whig served unique cocktails incorporating Casamigos, along with a local ingredient and whatever else they wished. (I served as one of the judges, along with Anne Postic of Fig Columbia, Susan Ardis of The State and Casamigos brand ambassador Maria Lehman.)
With each event, the competition seems to get tougher. Some of the most elaborate and creative cocktails proved divisive with my fellow judges, but two cocktails emerged at the top of our scorecards when the numbers were tallied. Once again, Rosso and Bourbon got the highest marks from the judges. (The popular vote went to Saki Tumi’s Sunset Beet.)
This week’s featured drink is from Rosso. General manager Mandi Ranalli says she started by infusing Casamigos Reposado with habaneros, but found the heat to be too intense. She added a cardamom-infused blood orange shrub she made from scratch, along with some Cannonborough ginger beer from Charleston. Even with the acidulation of the vinegar in the shrub, and the dilution with soda, the habanero infusion still gave off too much heat. A splash of prosecco proved the finishing touch that brought it into balance. It was served over a frozen habanero encased in a king cube of ice.
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage is offering 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
Happy Hour and Sushi Specials All Week
Red Bowl in Lexington now has great early bird and late night sushi specials 7 days a week, as well as 99-cent kids meals on Saturdays! Click here for special information and hours.
New Downtown Dessert and Coffee Bar!
Tony’s Italian Eatery has teamed up with Southern Charm Sweets to bring you the highest quality dessert selection in the downtown area. 1120 Washington St., Suite 2. Find us on Facebook!
A Healthy Happy Hour
4-7 p.m at Good Life Cafe on Main St. Try our $4 local draft beers, $4 organic wine, 1/2 off select bottles of house wine and $5 handcrafted house cocktails with juices cold pressed and made daily. Click here for more info.
Trustus Theatre Presents Evil Dead, The Musical
This musical version of Sam Raimi’s cult classic films promises to serve up more humor than horror. You can read more and purchase your tickets here.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Local restaurants serving locally grown food during Palmetto Tasty Tomato Restaurant Feast, July 11-18:
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Real Estate Spotlight
Concord Park From the $150’s. Off 12th St. Extension. 803.419.2227. mungo.com
Click here for more real estate.
ST. ANDREWS COMMONS APARTMENTS 1 & 2 BR’s available with many amenities. Close to everywhere YOU WANT TO BE! 1200 St. Andrews Rd., Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
WATERFORD APARTMENTS 1 & 2 BR’s available with many amenities. Prime location, and plenty of space. Live large at Waterford Apartments. Bring in our ad in Free Times for $50 off your application fee. 1340 Longcreek Dr., Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
GABLE HILL APARTMENTS 1, 2 & 3 BR’s available with many amenities. Surround yourself with Southern comforts at Gable Hill Apartments! Bring in our ad in Free Times for $50 off your application fee. 310 Ross Rd, Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
Donate Plasma Today & Be Somebody’s Hero For Life. You could earn up to $400 a month! Program and fees vary per location. Contact your local center today. 803-736-5888. Click here for more info