Journalism 101 pt. 2: Thrills and Patron

In early July FBDC sent me on a serious assignment: To go learn about Belvedere vodka at an event almost exclusively attended by local bartenders. They did it again, but this time with Patron tequila, a broader mix of attendees and not nearly as much drinking.

On Thursday, Patron hosted a promotional mixology event at One Lounge in Dupont Circle. How it worked: There were mixed drinks available to try but the real purpose was to get people to make their own drinks using available fruits, vegetables and herbs. A bar was setup downstairs for guests to choose what types of ingredients they wanted to mix.

Before beginning I tried a ready-made drink poured by Adrienne Wright, promotions manager for Thrillist, a social scene website for men in the D.C. area. She was standing on a broken foot, pouring tequila-raspberry lemonade cocktails. Wright told me her toe slipped over the edge of her flip flop, causing her to fracture her foot, despite not falling. She walked around for six days before getting it checked out. Saturday, Wright posted this jubilant photo of herself riding an electric wheelchair around Target to Twitter.

On the plus side, the cocktail was good.

Onward. I chose blueberries, honeydew, sage and a green chili pepper for my self-made drink. After picking out the ingredients, guests went to a separate bar upstairs where bartenders mixed them into the actual liquor. I waited in line roughly 20 minutes before it was my turn.

An actual conversation overheard in line: Male 1. “Muggles aren’t cool.” Male 2. “Not all of us read Harry Potter.” Mind blown.

Finally making it to the front, James, a bartender from the restaurant Graffiato, prepared my drink. After crushing my fruit and sage, James mixed it with Patron Añejo and Patron Silver. He also strained it so none of the fruit particles would get in my teeth, something that would have been highly embarrassing. The chili pepper was sliced in half then rubbed around the inside of the rim of my glass. That made it spicy, but the drink was otherwise sweet without being sugary.

Before heading out, I spoke with Leo Schmid, editor of Thrillist‘s D.C. newsletter. He’s been working at Thrillist for two years. Before that, he spent four years on the Hill. On the House side, he worked for Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). In the upper chamber, Schmid worked for Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). He said during his time in the Capitol, he did everything except work with press.

Fun fact: In 2008, Schmid was named one of The Hill‘s “50 Most Beautiful People.”