The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 123 of 134

july 2018  /  the tasting panel  /  121 should look good, taste good, and smell good, but more than anything else, it should glorify and elevate the base spirit. So, I think if we can combine the theatricality that's a big part of today's cocktail scene with a glorification of the spirit, I think we've got the makings of culinary greatness." Already looking to next year, DeGroff concluded by noting that none of the entries classified as a strong, spirit- forward stirred drink. "Creativity and presentation sometimes can become a fog through which you can't find your way, and you should really think about being simple and straightforward a little bit more," he said. (Hint, hint.) After a brief break, the afternoon brought on the Wholesaler Iron Mixologist Competition, in which WSWA Wholesaler Mixologists compete to create original cocktails in a timed competition incorporating secret ingredi- ents. Seven mixologists created their best apéritif and long drink from the pantry of spirits and modifiers they'd brought with them, but they also had to utilize the revealed contents of a provided basket: a variety of beets, strawberries in varying formats, and desert honey. With the addition of author Wayne Curtis to the panel, the judges declared Breakthru Beverage Illinois' Beverage Development Manager Natalia Cardenas the winner in the drink category and Clarke for his apéritif. But it was Cardenas who took the title of Iron Mixologist for her outstanding overall performance in both categories. Nistico, a six-time winner himself, was particularly delighted by Cardenas' presentation, which included setting the scene of a picnic complete with grass for the judges to smell before sipping. "Natalia really highlighted each ingredi- ent she used, and it shined through really nicely. She did a great job serving balanced cocktails," he explained. "You know, we always ask, 'Would you have another one?' Her long drink? I could have had five of them, and her apéritif I could have kept drinking all day. That's what it's all about—likeability in the cocktails—and she was the top!" "She came in with a theme," DeGroff added, "and just executed it—flaw- lessly." Ryan Wehrenberg of Western Spirits Beverage Company took second place with his Dented Brick Distillery cocktail. Breakthru Beverage Illinois' Beverage Development Manager Natalia Cardenas took home the title of Iron Mixologist for her Fifth and Meridian cocktail. Troy Clarke (second from right), Director of Mixology & Spirits Education for Martignetti Companies, won first place with his Tito's Vodka–based cocktail A Tale from Two Ts. Las Vegas cocktail legend Tony Abou-Ganim (left) acted as Master of Ceremonies. IRON MIXOLOGIST WINNER: Fifth and Meridian Created by Natalia Cardenas, Beverage Development Manager, Breakthru Beverage Illinois ◗ 1½ oz. Cutwater Three Sheets Barrel Aged Rum ◗ ½ oz. orgeat ◗ ½ oz. simple syrup ◗ ¾ oz. fresh lime juice ◗ 1 barspoon Rare Tea Cellar Strawberry Shrub ◗ 1 barspoon Perfect Purée Strawberry Purée ◗ ½ barspoon Rare Tea Cellar Watermelon Powder Combine ingredients, serve over ice in a Collins glass, and top with club soda. Garnish with a microplaned, freeze-dried Satsuma orange. CALL FOR COCKTAILS WINNER: A Tale from Two Ts Created by Troy Clarke, Director of Mixology & Spirits Education, Martignetti Companies ◗ 2 oz. Tito's Handmade Vodka ◗ 1 oz. Earl Grey tea syrup ◗ ¾ oz. grapefruit juice ◗ ¼ oz. key lime juice ◗ One large spoonful panna cotta Build in a mixing glass with ice, then stir and strain into a Highball glass. Garnish with shortbread cookie crumble and the zest of both key lime and grapefruit. THE WINNING RECIPES

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - July 2018