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April 22, 2008

The Bar Belle

Judging juleps Last Thursday I was invited to be a judge at the fifth annual Four Roses Julep Recipe Contest at Sully’s. Ten bartenders from the city’s finest dining spots wooed and wowed us with their original spin on the popular Derbytime drink. What that meant for me was getting to sample (and sometimes finish) 10 delicious drinks. Some were sugar-rimmed. Some contained fruit. Some stayed close to the original recipe. Some hit to left field (Bailey’s was involved, that’s all I’ll say). I’m not going to lie to you and say it was tough. The only difficulty I had was keeping my scores inside the boxes and keeping away thirsty onlookers. First place went to Jessica French of Varanese, whose Julep featured a dash of chai tea, lemon juice and basil. Silver went to Bourbon’s Bistro, and bronze to the Red Star Tavern. I highly recommend a trip to Varanese (2106 Frankfort Ave., 899-9904) to sample the winning cocktail. That was one I had no problem finishing myself. 2 Pub Crawls!Pick your poison carefully — there are two pub crawls this Saturday on opposite ends of town. First up is the bi-annual Schnitzelburg Walk in Germantown. Second is the J-Walk in Jeffersonville. The Germantown fest is more of an excuse to party outside than an actual mission-driven bar hop. Most of the small, neighborhood watering holes open up their patios and feature live music. If I remember correctly, several main streets are also closed, and drinking outside is actually encouraged. The J-Walk, however, has a strict itinerary. Ten Jeff bars are involved this year, and two buses will transport malt-walkers from establishment to establishment. The starting line is at the Lighthouse Bar & Grill, and if you want the free T-shirt, it’s advised you get there around 6 p.m. Check out jwalkpubcrawl.blogspot.com for details. Here’s to a happy Derby. Keep your spirits high, and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. Drop me a line at shavens@leoweekly.com or leobarbelle.blogspot.com