Results are in from the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge held in New York in early April. Judges included Clover Club’s Julie Reiner, PDT’s Jim Meehan and gaz regan, among others.
Winners: Best gin in an Aviation — Plymouth; Extra Dry Martini — Beefeater London Dry; Gin & Tonic — Beefeater 24; Negroni — No. 3 London Dry.
Best vodka in a Bloody Mary — Vesica; Cosmopolitan — ABSOLUT Citron; Vodka & Tonic — Luksusowa.
Best tequila in a Margarita — Olmeca Plata; Paloma — Izkali Reposado; Tequila Sunrise — 901 Silver.
Best rum in a Daiquiri and Mojito — Banks 5 Island; Mai Tai — Holey Dollar Silver Coin.
Best cachaca in a Batida de Fresa, Caipirinha and Caipirinha de Uva — Leblon.
Best Cognac/brandy in a Brandy Julep — Rémy Martin VSOP; Sidecar — Camus VS Elegance; Stinger — Camus VSOP Elegance.
Best Scotch whisky in a Blood & Sand — Highland Park 12 Years Old Single Malt; Rob Roy — Highland Park 12 Years Old Single Malt; Rusty Nail — The Macallan Fine Oak 10 Years Old Single Malt.
Best American whiskey in a Manhattan — Bulleit Rye; Mint Julep — Bulleit Rye; Old-Fashioned — George Dickel #12.
Best Irish Whiskey in an Irish Coffee — Jameson Gold Blended; Wild Irish Rose — Michael Collins Blended.
Best orange liqueur in a Cosmopolitan — Cointreau; Margarita — Cointreau; Sidecar — Cointreau.
For the complete list of results for the Classic Challenge and the Signature Challenge, including cocktail recipes, click here.
In Boston, the first round of the Woodward at Ames Cocktail Wars resulted in winners Pete Ketchum of Anthem Kitchen & Bar and Corey Bunnewith of Citizen Public House. They’ll meet winners from Round Two on May 1. A total of 32 bartenders from Boston’s different neighborhoods compete during the seven-week tournament. The winner gets a weekend in New York City (roundtrip flight, hotel accommodations at a Morgans Hotel Group property and spending money). Bartenders compete head-to-head with two secret ingredients. Semifinals take place May 1 and May 8, while the finals are held May 15 to battle it out for the grand prize and city dominance.
In New York City, 12 of the city's top bartenders vied for a $2,000 Founders Day package prize to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail at Cocktail Jam. Rob Fuentevilla (Mayahuel) took the prize, beating out Justin August (British Gins), Damon Boelte (Prime Meats), Frank Cisneros (Dram), Duane Fernandez (Donatella), Moses Laboy (Red Rooster), James Menite (Fornino), Ivy Mix (Lani Kai), Steve Schneider-Hadzismajlovic (Employees Only), Karin Stanley (Dutch Kills) and Hal Wolin (El Cobre).
Partida Tequila invites South Florida bartenders to “capture the essence of Key West and the true spirit of tequila.” The showdown will take place on June 12 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Rum Barrel in Key West. Original recipes must be submitted to recipe@spiritbirdchallenge by May 22. Top entries will be notified prior to June 1, and further competition specifics will be sent via email. The creator of the winning cocktail will receive $500, and the recipe will be featured on the Tequila Partida Website. Go to the Partida Spirit Bird Challenge Facebook page for details.
Maurice Cooper et Cie, producer and importer of Domaine de Canton, will hold its sixth semifinal regional competition for the Bartender of the Year Competition on April 25 in San Francisco. Eight of San Francisco’s top mixologists will compete to determine who goes to the finals in St. Martin. Semifinalists include Alex Smith (Smuggler’s Cove and Prospect), Brandon Clements (Spruce and Café Des Amis), Carlo Splendorini (Michael Mina), H. Joseph Ehrmann (Elixir), Josh Harris (The Hideout at Dalva), Scott Baird (Trick Dog), Tamir Ben-Shalom (The Slanted Door) and Victoria D’Amato-Moran (Wexlers). The 2011 Porto Cocktail Competition is open to entries from bartenders currently working in the bar, restaurant or spirits industry in Georgia, New Jersey and Illinois. The cocktail must utilize at least 1 ounce of Sandeman Founders Reserve, Ruby Porto. All ingredients should be available to most bars or easily acquired, available year-round in the United States. Three finalists will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Tales of the Cocktail 2011 (which includes hotel, airfare and a $200 meal stipend) to compete. The final winner will receive a $5,000 travel voucher for a trip to Portugal with a visit to Sandeman Cellars in Oporto. Entries will be accepted through May 31. More info is available at www.talesofthecocktail.com.
The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) announced the winners of the Call for Cocktails Mixology Competition and the Wholesaler Iron Mixologist Competition held at the WSWA 68th Annual Convention & Exposition in Orlando. Caterina Miltenberger won two of the three categories in addition to best of show. Miltenberger is the corporate mixologist for Glazer’s Distributors in Dallas, Texas. Drew Levinson of Wirtz Beverage Group won for Best Apertif; Best Long Drink, Best Dessert Drink and Best of Show went to Miltenberger.