The House of Angostura hosted events in seven markets across the U.S. to celebrate the launch of their Cocoa Bitters.

After each event, Chilled challenged the bartenders to create a cocktail in the #ChilledCocoaContest.

The events were hosted by Matthias Merges, Proprietor of Folkart Management which includes Billy Sunday, and Stephen Andrews the manager/head bartender at Chicago’s Billy Sunday, two industry veterans, and all cocktails judged by Chilled 100 Director, Wendy Hodges and North American Angostura Brand Ambassador, Chad Lawrence.

Each group had a finalist who will win a $500 prize before moving to the grand finale, where they have a chance to win an additional $1,000. The next market was Austin, Texas, led by Chilled 100 Ambassador, Antonio Matta.

Kevin Rhodes

Kevin Rhodes

Kevin Rhodes (@kevrhodeo) won the judges over with his Mérida by Night cocktail.

Kevin is a statistician-turned-bartender who has a passion for foraging and all things nerdy. He is originally from Virginia but has bartenders across the U.S. and Mexico. Currently, Kevin resides in Austin, where he focuses on hospitality and sustainable cocktails.

“This after-dinner cocktail highlights a heavy dose of Angostura Cocoa with Yucatán flavors. It features complimentary notes of coffee, vanilla, anise, honey, and orange oil. Really happy with how well Ango Cocoa worked with the traditional spirits Xtabentún and Pox,” says Kevin.

Mérida by Night

Mérida by Night

Mérida by Night

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Siglo Cero Pox
  • 1 oz. Espresso
  • 1/2 oz. Licor 43
  • 1/4 oz. d’Aristi Xtabentún
  • 8 dashes Angostura Cocoa
  • 3 drops Soapbark Tincture

Preparation: Combine ingredients in tin with ice and orange swath. Hard shake for about 8 seconds. Double strain over fresh ice into an old fashioned glass. Garnish with grated cacao.