The merging of cocktails with culinary is a good thing, as is the return of recipe contests for cooking with spirits. Now Domaine de Canton, the ginger liqueur from France, is looking for the best dishes that feature Domaine de Canton. Recipes should include an appetizer, main dish, side dish or dessert. A winner from each category will receive a prize of $1,000 and be featured in the "2012 Domaine de Canton Recipe Book." Recipe submissions will be accepted through Dec. 15. Each individual may submit one recipe in each category. To get official contest rules and guidelines before submitting a recipe, email email@example.com.
Korbel Brandy is looking for your best cold-weather cocktail that embraces the winter and holiday theme, features Korbel Brandy (of course) and is made with readily available ingredients. One entry per person per category; entries are judged on originality, creativity, taste and appearance. Winners in each category will be notified on Oct. 25 and receive a Korbel Brandy Bartending Kit or Korbel Brandy Martini Set & Sangria Bowl, plus $200 cash. The winning recipes and their creators will be featured in Korbel Brandy’s “Library of Cocktails” and highlighted on the Korbel Brandy Facebook page. Winners also will have bragging rights sure to last well past winter! Contest runs until the end of September; find details at www.Korbelbrandy.com.
There still is time to enter a few competitions: The Rioja Pour Genius Bar Competition is designed to showcase the versatility of Rioja wines as well as immerse competitors in the tradition, history and defining characteristics that make up the Spanish wine. All mixologists, bartenders and restaurant/bar industry professionals can enter. Entry deadline is Oct. 3. Participants must submit both a photo of their wine list featuring a DOCa Rioja wine and a Rioja-based cocktail. Submission of one high-resolution photo of the Rioja cocktail also must be included. Each participant’s cocktail submission must contain at least 1 ounce of DOCa Rioja wine. Find complete details at www.riojabarcompetition.com/ads/400 .
Results of the regional heats of the 2011 Appleton Remixology competition are in: Finalists are Ricky Gomez from San Francisco, Mike Parrish from Miami, Sean Frederick from Boston and Natalie Jacob from New York City.
If you pour American whiskey, this is the time of year you wait for: the release of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection in September — five limited-release whiskeys of various ages, recipes and proofs. This year there’s Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old, a big bartender favorite; Eagle Rare 17 Year Old, distilled in the spring of 1993 and aged on the second, third and sixth floors of Warehouses I and K at Trace; the beloved powerhouse George T. Stagg, an uncut and unfiltered bourbon distilled in the winter of 1993 and bottled at 142.6 proof; William Larue Weller, the Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe bourbon distilled in summer 1998, weighing in at 133.5 proof and said to taste of honey, caramel, light toffee and pipe tobacco; and Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye, an uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey distilled in the spring of 2005, aged on the sixth floor of Warehouse K and bottled at 128.6 proof.
Get ‘em while — and if — you can. Lucas Bols, the world’s oldest distilled spirits company, has announced the release of Bols Barrel Aged Genever, a new expression of Genever developed exclusively for the U.S. market. The new Bols Barrel Aged Genever is made using a 19th-century recipe and aged for 18 months in oak casks. Designed with bourbon connoisseurs in mind, Bols Barrel Aged Genever embraces the wood characteristics of aged American whiskies while maintaining the herbaceous, juniper flavors of the original Bols Genever. Master Distiller Piet Van Leijenhorst, secret-recipe keeper and steward of Bols Genevers for more than 25 years, has overseen the release of Bols Barrel Aged Genever, made exclusively for the United States according to a recipe used by the company in the 19th century and different from that used to make Bols Genever 1820. The heart of Barrel Aged Genever is malt wine: a rye, wheat and corn distillate triple-distilled in copper-pot stills blended with traditional Genever botanicals hops, cloves, anise, licorice, ginger, juniper and others. Aged for at least 18 months in French oak, Bols Barrel Aged continues the revival, albeit minor, of Genever in the United States, although the company suggests this is designed for bourbon lovers.
No (or very little) comment section: Grease Burger Bar in West Palm Beach, Fla., is now inviting guests “to take happy hour to the next level” with Shot Boards, which allow three to six guests to coordinate their shot experience (at least the first few times — wonder how simultaneous the fourth shot is?). There’s the Three Amigos! (three-shot board), all the way up to the Six Shooter (you guessed it, a six-shot board).
If you haven’t heard, here’s good news for rum lovers: the return of “Got Rum?,” Luis and Margaret Ayala’s publication about all things rum, now is available monthly online. This month they cover the importance of white rum, craft rum distilleries in the United States, tobacco and rum and the organoleptic assessment of, what else, rums, among other topics. Check out the latest issue and say “Hi” at www.gotrum.com.
Omni Hotels & Resorts is taking cocktail regionality a little more seriously now, bringing on five award-winning bartenders from across the country to create beverage menus with a regional twist. The one-of-a-kind “Homegrown” selection features regionally inspired recipes based on local trends and flavors and fresh indigenous ingredients. The work from a band of bartenders — Duggan McDonnell, Kim Hassarud, Adam Seger, Christy Pope and Freddy Diaz — can be seen here. McDonnell’s drinks were made for the West Coast operations, Hassarud’s for the Southwest, Seger’s for the Midwest, Diaz’s for the Southeast and Pope's for the Northeast.
Still time to get in on San Francisco Cocktail Week, a week-long celebration of the Bay Area’s liquid culture being held Sept. 19-25. Events will be held in venues, bars and restaurants throughout the Bay Area, including a Bar Crawl to Rye, Cantina, Otis Lounge and Rickhouse; an opening-night party at Anchor Brewing; and a showcase with West Coast bartenders from San Diego to Vancouver. Each participant will offer a cocktail that uniquely represents his or her city and its cocktail culture. For more info, go check out http://sfcocktailweek.com/.