In November, we here at Philadelphia magazine are going to be rolling out our drinking issue. There’ll be bars and stories about bars, tales of cocktails past and present, lists and guides and advice on how to drink your way through this lush life like a champ. Philly is a great bar town–a great drinking town–and we’re already hard at work doing all the research necessary to make this issue sing like a vodka-drunk housewife at a karaoke party.
But while plotting our assault on the bars of Love City, it occurred to us that one thing that’s missing from the alcoholic landscape is a true Philadelphian cocktail. Something that just screams Philly with the force of a thousand cheesesteaks. Sure, there’s a couple punches (Schuylkill and Fish House), the ubiquitous shot-and-a-beer in its myriad forms. And while an argument can certainly be made for a pint of Yuengling and a long pour of Jameson whiskey being the ultimate Philly cocktail, we really think the city can do better.
And that’s where you come in.
In the drinking issue, we’re going to be naming a new, official cocktail for the city of Philadelphia. But before we do that, we need to find one. And we are doing that by turning to some of the city’s best bartenders, smartest drink-slingers and drinkiest historians and asking them to invent a brand new cocktail which can stand proudly as Philly’s own. We’re also asking you, our readers, because 1) we know you all like to drink a bit. And 2) none of you are shy about sharing your opinions.
So here’s how this is going to work: We’re looking for original concoctions that, in some way, have a Philadelphia kind of feeling to them. Be it the ingredients, the mix, the preparation or just some overarching sense of Philly-ness, the final result has to in some way invoke the city we all live (and drink) in. A perfect martini made with Bluecoat gin? That would work. It isn’t exactly creative or unique, but it’s in the ballpark. Some kind of moonshine concoction spiced with Broad Street blacktop and garnished with a piece of the original constitution? Now we’re talking.
But that also brings us to rule #2: We’ve got to be able to make the drink. We’ve got to be able to make lots of your drink. Because if this is going to be Philadelphia’s official cocktail, then we hope many Philadelphians will be drinking it for years to come.
Rule #3: No stealing. Come up with something original (or a unique twist on an existing cocktail) or just sit on your hands. This rule does not apply to the name of your cocktail. When naming something, ripping off someone else’s idea isn’t stealing, it’s an homage.
Rule #4: Anything even vaguely resembling an appletini will be rejected and roundly mocked by the staff. Appletinis are evil incarnate and representative of everything that’s wrong with the world today.
And that’s it. Invent a drink, make it Philly, make it your own, give it a name, and don’t make it an appletini. We’re going to be choosing semi-finalists soon, then having a party to test the concoctions (details to follow)–at which point a winning cocktail will be chosen and enshrined forever as the official cocktail of Philadelphia. And who wouldn’t want to have their name attached to something like that? I mean, think about it. You might be some kind of serious loser right now. Working some chump job. So worthless that even dogs won’t play with you. But come through with a winner here, and for the rest of your days, you’ll be the person who invented Philadelphia’s cocktail. You’ll be a hero. You’ll be famous. Girls (or boys) will want to get to know you…
Recipes/descriptions in the comments section. Enter as often as you like.
Infamy awaits, people of Philadelphia. So what are you waiting for?
Update: Contest is closed, look for the winner in the November issue of Philadelphia magazine.