Sunday, August 24

Devour Downtown Cocktail Competition 2014 Winners and Recipes

Learnard, Yager and Waller
Judging cocktail and wine competitions is a favorite part of this job. The creative juices begin flowing
(literally) when cocktails are involved and watching the pride and enthusiasm of the competitors is pure joy.

I have been fortunate to judge the Devour Downtown Signature Cocktail Competition since its inception several years ago, and watching it become more well known is exciting.

The entries were, once again, innovative and it was wonderful to see what is happening in the Indy spirits scene. Specialty rims, fresh ingredients and detail-oriented drinks (right down to the type of ice) proved Indianapolis is bringing the best out in bartenders around town.


Held in the ~ absolutely gorgeous ~ Severin Bar in the downtown Omni Hotel, the competition was sponsored by Sauza Tequila, Bacardi Rum, Basil Hayden's Bourbon and Grey Goose Vodka. The bartenders competed for cash prizes in each of the four categories with one claiming the Overall Champion title. Below are the recipes for each winning drink with top honors overall going to Zach Learnard from Elbow Room.

Devour Downtown Summerfest 2014
Signature Cocktail Competition Winners

Category: Overall
Category: Basil Hayden

Name: Zach Learnard
Drink: Midwestern Mule
Company: Elbow Room
Recipe: 2oz Basil Hayden, 4oz Reed's Original Ginger Brew, 5oz Jalapeno Simple Syrup, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 whole lime. Muddle one slice of jalapeno with 1/4 lime and 1 tsp sugar. Fill shaker 1/4 full with ice. Add muddled ingredients and .5 oz of jalapeno simple syrup. Add 2oz of Basil Hayden Bourbon and stir. Pour into rocks glass. Top with 4oz of Reed's.

Category: Bacardi
Drink: Limon Pie
Name: Jeremiah Strickler
Company: Morton's
Recipe: 1 1/2oz Bacardi Limon, 1/2oz Limoncello, 1 /2oz Grand Marnier,
1 /2oz Agave Nectar; Topping: 1oz Half and Half, 4 tbsp graham cracker crust, 1tbsp sugar, 1/2oz fresh squeezed lemon. Fill shaker 1/2 full of ice, add Bacardi Limon/ Grand Marnier/ limoncello/ Agave Nectar and shake vigorously Strain into martini glass rimmed with sugar/graham cracker mix.

Category: Grey Goose
Drink: Bruschetta
Name: Max Waller
Company: High Velocity
Recipe: 1 1/2 oz Grey Goose, 1/2 oz olive juice, 1 slice of garlic, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, 1 lemon wedge, 3 cherry tomatoes, 1 oz Zing Zang bloody mary mix. Muddle tomatoes, add Grey Goose, olive juice, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon wedge, and Zing Zang bloody mary mix. Shake and strain into martini glass and garnish with basil leaf.

Category: Sauza Blue Tequila
Spicy Blue Margarita

Name: Sara Yager
Company: Chef Joseph's at The Connoisseur Room
Recipe: 3 ounce Sauza Blue Tequila, 2 ounce Triple Sec, 2 ounce Sweet and Sour Mix, 4 Mint leaves 1/2 Lime Sriracha Sauce. Muddle 4 Mint Leaves and 1/2 Lime and add Sriracha to taste. Add Sauza Blue Tequila, Triple Sec and Sweet and Sour to the mix. Strain into a salt-rimmed high ball glass over ice. Garnish with a jalapeno-wrapped cherry, mint leaf and lime wedge.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker and consultant for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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