Broward News

Taste Notes: Bloody Mary Fest a First for Township Fort Lauderdale

Township hosts its inaugural Bloody Mary Festival on Sunday.
Township hosts its inaugural Bloody Mary Festival on Sunday. The Restaurant People Courtesy
Put down that mimosa and back away from the bellini.

Bloody Mary is taking over.

For the first time ever, Township Fort Lauderdale is hosting a Bloody Mary Festival, with savory samples aplenty this Sunday, February 16, from 1 to 5 p.m.

“The brunch craze evolved into Sunday Funday, which has become more than just a trend, it’s now practically a lifestyle,” Aaron Abramoff, Chief Financial Officer of the Restaurant People, tells New Times. “Township wants to pay homage to this brunch-staple with a festival dedicated to showcasing the idea that everyone thinks they make the best bloody mary — and it's not only with vodka anymore.”

For $25, festival-goers can indulge in unlimited samples, all of which will have a base of Tres Agaves Organic Bloody Mary Mix.

This savory, vegetable-infused base will be mixed with one or more of more than 15 brands of liquor – including Tito’s Grey Goose, Brown Sugar Bourbon, and Jägermeister – along with special surprises/ingredients to create some truly unique concoctions.

“We have over 12 different brands that are going to bring their best mixologists to try and prove they make the best bloody mary in Fort Lauderdale,” Abramoff says.

If you’re feeling fancy, there’s a $50 VIP Bloody Baller package available, granting admission an hour early (at Noon), a brunch spread, and access to a premium liquor bloody mary bar.

Make sure to vote for your fave – the winner will be crowned “The People’s Bloody” at the end of the event, giving one liquor brand big-time bragging rights.

Based on the preliminary list of liquors here, we’re putting the Grey Goose bloody as the favorite and the Brown Sugar Bourbon as a potential wild card. As for the Jägermeister bloody, well, will that actually get any votes? Will that be good? You be the judge.

In other news and notes from South Florida’s culinary scene:

Switcheroo. While popular Oakland Park coffee shop Switchbox Coffee Roasters has officially bitten the dust, it appears another coffee joint is taking its spot. Signs have emerged in the old Switchbox space saying Kith & Co., offering coffee, wine, beer and flowers, is coming soon. According to Kith & Co.’s Facebook page, the new shop will open on March 13 with mocktails, live music, casual bites and more.

Need for speed.
Sure, there are plenty of speed dating events around these parts. But very few, if any, will fall on Valentine’s Day, at a brewery. On Friday, Tarpon River Brewing will host a speed dating event in conjunction with South Florida Speed Dating from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. To participate, it’s 10 bucks and you’ll want to register ahead of time. When things go sour, there is plenty of beer – including its tart Pucker Up Puckeroos – to wash away your sorrows.

Valentine wine. For the “Galentine’s Day” crowd (or if you just love awesome wine), Cilantro’s Wellington will be the spot on Friday. With the purchase of a dinner at the gourmet deli, you’ll get a free Gracida wine tasting. Post-tasting and when you’re ready to buy a bottle, you can feel that much rosier knowing that $1 of every Gracida bottle purchase goes to local nonprofit Replay Polo, which is dedicated to re-purposing and re-homing retiring polo ponies.

Get cookin’. After your fancy dinner out on Friday, you and your Valentine can make a holiday dinner together on Saturday. Chef Lenore Nolan Ryan is hosting a special Valentine Celebration cooking class on Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Lenore’s in Galt Ocean Plaza in Fort Lauderdale. In addition to a champagne toast, couples will prepare (together – one person can’t do all the work!) either a Beef Wellington or vegetable main, sides, and more.

Mark your calendars. The Female Brew Fest returns to South Florida on Saturday, March 21 to an all-new venue, Dania Pointe. For fest newbies, it’s all about highlighting female beer experts, brewers and the rockin’ ladies making the industry shine. Among this year’s confirmed speakers are Brewers Association founder Dr. J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham, brewer/influencer Megan Stone and Beer Diversity founder Ren Navarro. And, duh, there’s a lot of beer to try, too.

click to enlarge The Ben which includes the new Spruzzo rooftop, opens in West Palm Beach on February 13. - COURTESY BEN WEST PALM
The Ben which includes the new Spruzzo rooftop, opens in West Palm Beach on February 13.
Courtesy Ben West Palm

News and notes. The Ben, a 208-room property located on the Downtown West Palm Beach waterfront, officially opens on Thursday, February 13 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring West Palm Beach mayor Keith James. Among its culinary offerings are the upscale Proper Grit as well as the Spruzzo rooftop, offering cocktails and microbrews. ... Top Round, which “specializes in American classics with a modern twist,” including sandwiches, fries, tots, and desserts, is open at 35 N. Federal Hwy. in Fort Lauderdale. The new location is open Monday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.  
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Jesse Scott is a Fort Lauderdale-based contributor for Miami New Times covering culture, food, travel, and entertainment in South Florida and beyond. His work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and his hometown newspaper, the Free Lance-Star, among others.