Photo: Nick Doll
For a champagne reception on the grounds of the Audubon House in Key West, I recruited my pal Che Bastien (above) to help with bartending duties. I put him in charge of making The City Of Tomorrow, named after a poem of KWLS returning champion, Billy Collins. The man has a voice like a fine scotch followed by a shot of warm honey, and he seems like the scotch type but I happen to know he favors vodka and so I felt correct in dubbing this one in his honor. I'd taken some Kettel One and infused it with lemons and oranges--like seeing a red door and wanting to paint it black, I've rarely met a vodka I didn't want to infuse, at least for cocktailing.
Then I went out and got an assortment of fruit, including the most perfectly ripe pineapples I've ever tasted. My somewhat grandiose vision for the drink and the link to the title was that this future city would embrace all different peoples from all parts of the globe, thus the assortment of fruit, bringing different flavors together from different regions. Perhaps a conceptual stretch, but the resulting fresh fruit cocktail was simply delicious, and simple to make-if a bit sticky. Cutting, muddling and shaking fruit and citrus can be a messy job, and we both were living in a world of stick for a couple hours. Worth it, though.
THE CITY OF TOMORROW
It's really just fruit and good vodka and just a touch of raw sugar to pull it all together. It's a much better version of the sickly sweet spring break girl drinks that cause so many problems. So perhaps in this city of the future we shall drink fresher, and drink better. Jason Rowan
Photo: Michael Blades
Above: The Key West Of Tommorrow, Enjoying Cocktails Today: L-R, Marky Pierson, ringleader of Key West Burlesque Theatre, public artist Momo, who collaborated on the KWLS set, Photographer Nick Doll (who shot the images up top and below), Lighting director and Cicero reader Jolly Benson, Cayman Smith-Martin who designed the set and Shane Benowitz who worked on social media during the Seminar.