Last night, famed speakeasy Williams & Graham and sister neighborhood bar The Occidental were the sites of a national cocktail showdown between New York City's Dead Rabbit and San Francisco's Trick Dog. The teams from the East and West Coast bars took over the adjoining spaces and made them their own. For the Dead Rabbit, that meant mostly toying with the music and offering its own music-tinged drink menu (one that featured cocktails named Gangsta's Paradise, Little Water, and Black Rose). Trick Dog went all out with a puny dead rabbit theme that seemed to have been fueled by Easter items on sale after the holiday.
The riffs on killing the (already dead) rabbit continued on Trick Dog's eight-cocktail menu, one that included a drink called Fatal Attraction (rum, Ancho Reyes, grapefruit, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, and lime), served in a "dead rabbit" aka Russel Stover's Easter chocolate bunny. A highlight on the other side of the battlefield was Dead Rabbit's True Blue, a mighty combo of a lot of ingredients: Tullamore D.E.W, apple brandy, Guinness, PX Sherry, white miso (yep!), ginger, lemon, and Peychaud's bitters.
From 7 p.m. until 1 a.m., the two teams were judged by The Way Back's (and Williams & Graham alum) Chad Michael George, Bar Dough's executive chef Max Mackissock, and Westword contributor Laura Shunk. While the two teams were neck to neck for a while, it was Dead Rabbit that was pronounced the winner. The team will be invited back next year to battle it out with one of the winners of upcoming events.