Nightclub & Bar Magazine's 2011 Nightclub & Bar Awards program is officially open. Bar award categories include: Cocktail Lounge of the Year, Wine Bar, Beer Bar, Sports Bar, Small Wonder Bar, Hotel Bar and Bartender of the Year. New categories for nightclubs include Dayclub of the Year and a Las Vegas Nightclub category — created to recognize the unique nature of the Vegas marketplace. Suppliers, vendors, wholesalers, consultants, DJs and allied industry professionals as well as operators may nominate competitors. Enter at www.nightclubandbarawards.com. The deadline for entries is Nov. 5.
Woodford Reserve encourages eligible consumers and bartenders to submit their Manhattan recipe online at www.wellcraftedmanhattan.com. Entries will be judged in the categories of taste, name, ingredients, creativity and presentation, and must include Woodford as the primary ingredient. One grand prize winner will receive a trip for two to Manhattan, while second and third place winners will receive prizes from Woodford Reserve and Esquire. Winners will be notified on or about Dec. 20.
As the winner of the Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur national bartending competition held at Macao Trading Co. in NYC, Brendan Dorr of Baltimore won an all-expense trip paid for two to Oktoberfest in Munich and $1,000. His winning drink was the El Oso (Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur, Partida Anejo Tequila, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, The Bitter Truth – Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters, dehydrated orange wheel). Bryan Schneider of Brooklyn, N.Y. won $1,000 as audience favorite for his Careless Bear.
Spirits of Mexico launched its first Sangrita Cocktail Challenge, seeking modern twists on the spice and citrus accompaniment to tequila created in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico in the 1940s. In the finals, held at Barrio Star in San Diego, mixologist Shane Tison of The Randolph at Broome in New York City emerged as the Grand Champion. His sangrita recipe, Sangre de Migrante, used chipotle puree, Clamato juice, liquid smoke, sofrito tomato cooking base, mole spice, Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters, celery salt, lime juice and kosher salt. The cocktail was made with Fidencio mezcal, Nux Alpina Walnut Liqueur, Cuarenta y Tres, lemon juice and the sangrita. The People’s Choice went to Jalantro Sangrita mixed by German Ochoa of San Diego’s Barra Barra Saloons and Casa de Reyes.
(From left): Arik Torren, Fidencio mezcal; Dori Bryant, The Polished Palate; and Shane Tison, winner, of The Randolph at Broome in New York City.