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updated: 12/12/2016 10:16 PM

'The Luxe Life' named Best Martini in the 'Burbs

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  • The judges' favorites for the Daily Herald's Best Martini in the 'Burbs contest are, from left: first place, Gail Fardman of JL's Pizza and Sports in Palatine; second place, Blake Faircloth of Punch Bowl Social in Schaumburg; and third place, Max Huber of Salsa 17 in Arlington Heights.

      The judges' favorites for the Daily Herald's Best Martini in the 'Burbs contest are, from left: first place, Gail Fardman of JL's Pizza and Sports in Palatine; second place, Blake Faircloth of Punch Bowl Social in Schaumburg; and third place, Max Huber of Salsa 17 in Arlington Heights.
    Jim Baumann | Staff Photographer

  • Bartender Sami Knaub of Draft Picks in Mount Prospect mixes her "Cubbie Blue" martini Monday night during the Daily Herald's Best Martini in the 'Burbs contest at Drink in Schaumburg.

      Bartender Sami Knaub of Draft Picks in Mount Prospect mixes her "Cubbie Blue" martini Monday night during the Daily Herald's Best Martini in the 'Burbs contest at Drink in Schaumburg.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

Gail Fardman might work for a pizza joint, but her cocktails are a work of art.

Fardman, a bartender at JL's Pizza and Sports in Palatine, was awarded the gold martini trophy Monday night at the Daily Herald's Best Martini in the 'Burbs contest at Drink nightclub in Schaumburg for her concoction, "The Luxe Life."

Fardman's cocktail was a refreshing combination of top-shelf Absolut Elyx vodka, Lillet Blanc, fresh strawberries, rhubarb and strawberry jam, fresh rosemary and mint, with a lemon and lychee nut garnish.

Blake Faircloth of Punch Bowl Social in Schaumburg took second place for his "Punch My Blackberries" martini, and Max Huber of Arlington Heights' Salsa 17 took third for his self-named "El Maximo," a Mexican-inspired cocktail with a chili rim.

Apollo, the one-name bartender from Jameson's Charhouse, took fan favorite for his "White Star Key Lime Martini," served with a flourish.

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