Covington, KY – She never dreamed of being among the elite in the world of local craft cocktails. She did, however, dream of the drink that put her there.
Fitton Center Event Lead Logan Adams – who doubles as resident mixologist – took second place in the annual Cincinnati Alchemy Fest May 21 with her imaginative creation, Beet You To It.
Yes. Beet. As in the root vegetable.
The idea came to her in her sleep.
“I literally had a dream about it,” Adams said. “I was stressed about the whole contest and was second guessing myself. But then I dreamed about beets and settled on that.”
Working in the final round with product by Log Still Distillery and Tao Bitters, Beet You Too It featured bourbon, a maple-beet shrub for both earthiness and acidity, strawberry syrup for sweetness and egg white for airiness. She garnished the bright crimson cocktail with a bruleed beet chunk speared by beet greens.
Competing in a field of 15 bartenders from the across the region – and working under the flag of Hamilton’s Pinball Garage, where she is a regular bartender - Adams won over the crowd at Smoke Justis in Covington with her batch cocktail, I’ll Haba Nother.
That one was a sweet-and-spicy gin-based drink with honey habanero syrup. Guests at the event bought out her entire batch and gave her more than 700 votes – judges stopped counting - to advance easily into the top six.
Alchemy Fest finals judges included a veritable who’s who of cocktail connoisseurs - area mixology queen Molly Wellmann, 2022 Alchemy Fest winner Jade Colwell and Boars Room general manager Dan Altom.
“When they were judging Dan said the word ‘perfect’ and I kind of zoned out,” Adams said. “Then Molly said she was speechless. That was it. Molly liked my drink? I already won. Didn’t matter what the scores were.”
Tyler Sargent of Wise Guys edged Adams for first place. “They said you couldn’t slide a piece of paper between first place and second place,” Adams said. “He pulled out all the stops and used almost every technical skill you can imagine, but I am really happy with how I did.”
A life-long service industry professional, the self-taught Adams hasn’t been slinging drinks that long.
She started behind the bar in 2017, opening cans of beer – “We didn’t even have draft,” she said - for patrons at the pizza place where she worked. She started making cocktails to match programming at the Sorg Orpera House when she worked at the Swire Inn in Middletown.
By the time she came to the Fitton Center last year, she was an old hand at making specialty drinks. She started with The Ruby Slipper for Drag Show 2.5 last spring and finished up the 2022-2023 season with Murder in a Glass for the Probibition Murder! the night before Alchemy Fest.
She enjoys matching spirits with shows.
“This is an arts center and cocktails are a form of art,” Adams said.
Still, she wanted to test herself.
“This was my first competition,” Adams said. “I did it to prove to myself, pretty much, that I could do it. I figured bartending in little old Hamilton was one thing, Cincinnati and all the cocktail places down there was another. But this was big confidence boost.
“You’re never done learning. Nobody knows everything. But this was a great way to get better and learn something new. I’m really happy.”
The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.
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