Top wine country mixologists and leaders of the spirits and bartending communities gathered for the fourth annual Wine Country Cocktail Competition held at the Andaz Napa. Despite the rain filled evening, the event drew a large enthusiastic crowd of consumers, trade, media and key talent as the wine country mixology community competed for the most creative and balanced cocktail featuring Napa Valley based companies The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley and Charbay Distillery.
“It’s very exciting to see past winners and their bar staff, as well as newcomers,” said Tracy Hayward, President and Founder of The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley. “We celebrate the great talent in Wine Country—bar programs that should not be overlooked and the top-level talent this event draws to compete each year.”
Top wine country restaurants and bars that competed included: Goose & Gander, Ad Hoc, Norman Rose, Nick’s Cove, Farmstead and Tra Vigne. The fourteen competitors were provided several of Charbay’s flavored Vodka portfolio and the entire flavor line-up of The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley.
Prizes were awarded to contestants and cocktails for presentation, flavor and creativity and were judged by Bay area journalists Virginia Miller (The Perfect Spot) and Lou Bustamante (SF Weekly), as well as mixologist Scott Beattie and Chef Ken Frank of Toque restaurant at the Westin, Napa. The first place prize of $150 was awarded to Daniel Ojinaga of Society Culture House in Santa Rosa, for his Zest Tea Fizz cocktail which included Charbay Green Tea Vodka and The Perfect Purée Coconut puree. A second place prize of $125 was awarded to Gabby Saul of St. Helena’s Goose & Gander, winning with her Caribbean Express that combined The Perfect Purée’s Passion Colada blend and Passion Fruit Concentrate. The Rickshaw from Brandon Manning of Santa Rosa’s Jack & Tony’s came in third place winning a prize of $100, and featured Charbay Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka and The Perfect Purée’s Lychee puree and Thai Basil & Black Pepper blend.
Newly added to the competition this year, much to the delight of the crowd, was a People’s Choice award, which was won by Hunter DeoOcampo of venue host the Andaz. His Salvia Sling cocktail featured Charbay Red Raspberry Vodka and The Perfect Puree’s Mango puree.