Rye House in New York hosted the Classic & Vintage End Of the Road Show contest, the final phase in a series of competitions for the company’s national tour. Bartenders from Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco threw down in the finals to determine the Classic and Vintage cocktail of 2010. Judges, including Paolo Domeneghetti of DSWE, Andrew Knowlton of Bon Appétit, Zane Harris of Seattle’s Rob Roy and Jim Kearns of Rye House, picked Los Angeles’ Julian Cox of Rivera & R26 (opening this fall) and his Beet It. Cox won a trip for two to Cognac, France, based on his use of the Cognac-produced spirit, Esprit de June. Cox used Esprit de June, Tuthilltown’s Hudson Baby Bourbon, lime juice, Rhum J.M Cane Syrup, red bell pepper, beet juice and cayenne pepper to craft the drink.
Domaine de Canton crowned the winner of its 2010 Bartender of the Year competition in St. Martin last month, with the competition featuring bartenders from New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Boston and Seattle. Four finalists emerged from the first round; the finals required a five-ingredient drink. Winner Sean Kenyon, of Steuben's Food Service and Vesta Dipping Grill in Denver, took home $10,000 for his Canton Bittered Flip, a combination of Domaine de Canton, Angostura bitters, orgeat, orange half-wheel and egg. First runner-up Andrew Pollard of Noir Bar at the Luxor Hotel, Las Vegas, offered the Opening Act cocktail (Domaine de Canton, Campari, lime juice, mint, orange bitters, tonic). Daniel Hyatt of Alembic Bar in San Francisco, Debbi Peek of the Bristol in Chicago, Kevin Diedrich of the Clover Club in NYC, Mike Mills of Max Downtown in Hartford, Conn., Jay Kuehner of Sambar in Seattle and Jason Strich of Rasika in Washington, D.C., also competed.