New York, NY - Rye House was buzzing on Tuesday afternoon as 5 of the country’s most outstanding mixologists competed in The Classic & Vintage End Of the Road Show. This contest was the final phase in a series of competitions that have been a part of the company’s national Road Show tour where they visited four cities including: Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco. On every stop of the road show, Classic & Vintage hosted a cocktail challenge featuring the town’s best bar talent. The winner from each city was invited to compete in New York (along with a New York wild card competitor who was chosen on site) during the Manhattan Cocktail Classic for this final round to determine THE CLASSIC & VINTAGE COCKTAIL OF 2010.
Nationally acclaimed industry judges included: Paolo Domeneghetti, CEO and Founder of DSWE, Andrew Knowlton, Restaurant Editor of Bon Appétit, Zane Harris, owner Rob Roy in Seattle and Jim Kearns, of Rye House, New York. After careful deliberation, the judges determined that Los Angeles’ Julian Cox of Rivera & R26 (opening this fall) was the winner with his balanced and beautiful cocktail: Beet It. Julian was awarded a trip for two to Cognac, France based on his use of the Cognac-produced spirit, Esprit de June. In France, Julian will have the opportunity to visit the June distillery as well as the Cognac-based distilleries of other brands in the Classic & Vintage portfolio including G’Vine, Cognac Grosperrin, and Armagnac Castarède.
The inventive format of the competition added to the on-the-spot excitement of the afternoon – each bartender selected a box of mystery ingredients that ranged from basic to obscure including tomato, mango, passion fruit, garam masala, Kit Kat candy bar, marshmallow, jalapeno, pickle juice, buttered popcorn, etc. Each had to use at least three ingredients from the box with all-access to the entire Classic & Vintage portfolio, which includes over 17 internationally acclaimed boutique spirit brands. With only 12 minutes to formulate, prep and pour, the finalists developed inventive recipes including:
Beet It! – THE CLASSIC & VINTAGE COCKTAIL OF 2010
Julian Cox of Rivera & R26 (opening this fall), Los Angeles.
¼ ounce Esprit de June
1 ½ ounces Tuthilltown Baby Bourbon
1 ounce lime Juice
3/8 ounce Rhum J.M Cane Syrup
pinch of Red Bell Pepper
¼ ounce Beet Juice
¼ ounce barspoon cayenne pepper
The Road Show Julep
John Lermayer, The Florida Room, Miami.
½ ounce Averna Limoni
2 dashes the Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters
1 ½ ounces Tuthilltown Manhattan Rye
¼ ounce lime juice
2 barspoons maple syrup
1 ounce green apples
Half sprig of Rosemary
Top with a barspoon of Averna Amaro
Reza Esmaili, Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco.
½ ounce Averna Amaro
2 ounces Didier Meuzard Ratafia
¾ oucnes Rhum JM VSOP
¼ ounce lemon juice
4 basil leaves
Movie Theater Classic
Ben Demarchelier, Brasserie Cognac, NYC.
¼ ounce Averna Amaro
¼ ounce Sombra
2 ounces Tuthilltown Corn Whiskey
Pinch of ground white pepper
Topped with root beer
Garnished with Buttered popcorn
The Avocado Wreck
Dante Lopresti, Mercadito, Chicago.
1 ounce Azunia Reposado
1 ounce Sombra Mezcal
1 ounce lemon
¼ ounce Demerara sugar
1 barspoon honey
½ ounce slice jalapeno
1 sliver avocado
3 oregano leaves
Classic & Vintage National Portfolio Includes:
Death’s Door Spirits
The Bitter Truth
Mãe de Oro
Dimmi Liquore di Milano
Industry vet, Tad Carducci of The Tippling Bros. entertained the crowd with his animated introductions and comical accounting of each competitor’s ingredient assortment and was the leader of Tuesday’s friendly competition. By taking home the win for Los Angeles, Julian Cox is proud to be a part of Southern California’s quickly growing mixology community. The Classic & Vintage Road Show will be an annual event to search for new and exciting bar talent in US cities.