I have been remiss in writing about the achievements of our local mixologists lately, even though some great things have been happening. Here are some highlights:
National Sherry Cocktail Competition
Charles Joly from the Drawing Room won the 4th annual Vinos de Jerez Cocktail Competition in December, beating out prominent mixologists from around the country in the finals. He won a trip to tour the Jerez region, along with a scholarship to the BAR Masters program. Congrats Charles!
Bread & Wine, by Charles Joly
(Photo courtesy of Iñaki Vinaixa via the Sherry Council of America)
1 oz Lustau “Don Nuño” Dry Oloroso
1½ oz Balvenie Scotch Doublewood 12 year
5 dashes Absinthe (preferably Sirene Absinthe - thanks Charles!)
½ oz fresh lemon juice ¼-1/3 oz maple syrup (depending on
tartness of lemons)
Fill Old Fashioned glass with ice, dash with absinthe and set aside
to season. Combine Sherry, Balvenie, lemon juice and maple
syrup in mixing glass. Add ice and shake well. Empty Old
Fashioned glass, coating sides with absinthe. Add Kold Draft or
large pieces of ice. Strain cocktail into glass. Cut a strip of orange
zest using a vegetable peeler. Mist top of glass with orange oil,
rub rim and place decoratively in glass. No straws please.
National Benedictine Competition
Lynn House from graham elliot took second in another huge national competition sponsored by the fine folks at Benedictine with her drink The Grail, finishing ahead of a number of prominent mixologists around the country. She was featured in Esquire in January, and has been mentioned in a number of other major publications recently. Go Lynn!
The Grail, by Lynn House
2 oz Benedictine Liqueur
1/4 oz Esprit Orange Liqueur
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
2 oz Fevertree tonic water
3 dashes of Fee brothers orange bitters
Debbi Peek, the portfolio mixologist extraordinaire for Bacardi USA, won the local Best Bartender contest sponsored by Domaine de Canton in November, and she won a trip to St. Martin to compete in the nationals. Congrats Debbi! Hope that trip is coming up soon, it's cold around here!
There have been a few other local competitions recently as well, with more to come. Daniel de Oliveira of Crimson Lounge and Double A won the latest, sponsored by Absolut, and Todd Appel of Crimson Lounge made to the finals of a recent late-night tv show on mixologists (also sponsored by Absolut).
Best Cocktail Lounge is in Chicago!
And last but not least, The Drawing Room was named the Best Cocktail Lounge in the US for 2010 by Nightclub & Bar Magazine. If you haven't been there yet, you're missing out!
Congrats all! Great things are happening in our cocktail scene, with more to come.