NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Barenjager Honey Liqueur is proud to announce the winner of the brand's Second Annual National Bartending Competition. The Bar Downstairs at the Andaz 5th Avenue was buzzing last night as six of the Nation's finest bartenders competed in the Barenjager Bartending Competition. The panel of judges, Dushan Zaric of Employees Only & Macao, "King Cocktail" and master mixologist Dale DeGroff, acclaimed spirits writer and mixologist David Wondrich, Todd Richman, corporate mixologist at Sidney Frank Importing Company, Inc., and famed bar talent Aisha Sharpe of Contemporary Cocktails, Inc., awarded Kyle Ford of Manhattan an all-expense trip paid for two to Oktoberfest 2011 in Munich, Germany. Judges based scores on taste, presentation, appearance, creativity and overall delivery.
Grand prize winner, Kyle Ford, mixed up the SS Europa, a perfectly balanced cocktail that, according to the judges, "highlighted Barenjager beautifully and created an instant classic."
1 part Barenjager Honey Liqueur
2 parts Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
3 dashes St. George absinthe
Stir for 20 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
The audience, consisting of media and industry heavyweights, was also invited to "bee" judges and vote on their cocktail of choice. The audience favorite went to Erick Smith of Worcester, Mass., with the "Bad News Bear":
Bad News Bear
1 part Barenjager
1½ parts Bols Genever
½ parts Benedictine
¾ parts fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 Dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-aged Bitters
Combine all ingredients in shaker, add ice, shake vigorously, and strain into pre-chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
Other finalists included:
Chad Arnholt: Boston
Christopher Martino: Washington D.C.
Colin Shearn: Philadelphia
Burton Daniel: Boulder, Colo.
Made in Germany, Barenjager is a 70 proof honey liqueur made from neutral grain alcohol and pure premium natural honey from Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Each liter bottle contains 300 grams of pure honey and other natural ingredients resulting in a subtly sweet, spicy and herb edged taste profile.
During the 15th century, the Eastern Prussian bear trap company, Teucke & Konig, first introduced Barenjager, a honey liqueur which translates to "Bear Hunter." In an effort to end the struggle between man and bear, this sweet concoction was the first professionally produced Meschkinnes - mead-like moonshine made from honey by beekeepers and farmers - and was formulated to aid hunters attract bears and lure them from their dwellings. The alluring spirit's recipe was slightly altered in the 18th century and continues to serve as the original honey liqueur enjoyed around the world today.
Due to the versatility of the brand and the increasing popularity of honey and flavored liqueurs in cocktails, Barenjager Honey Liqueur has grown consistently since 2000 and has more than doubled sales over the last decade. Barenjager differentiates itself from the growing competition by being made with pure, natural honey and no artificial flavors. The unique taste of Barenjager can be enjoyed straight, on the rocks and in a variety of long-drinks and cocktails, both hot and cold. In addition, Barenjager can also be used as a substitute for honey or sweeteners in your favorite culinary recipes.
Barenjager Honey Liqueur is available in the United States in the liter, 750ml, 375ml, and 50ml sizes. Suggested Retail Price of $27.99 (750ml).