Six finalists have been announced in the first ever Balcones Bartender Challenge.
One of the six will be awarded the grand prize of $5,000. The other five will take home $500. Texas bartenders battled it out to create the most original whiskey cocktail. They created a original concoction using either Balcones Baby Blue or Texas Rye 100. A panel of judges selected six finalists. The cocktails were judged according to the name of the cocktail (10 points), appearance/presentation (15 points), written inspiration (25 points), creativity (20 points), and balance of flavors, aroma, and character (30 points).
The top six finalists are as follows:
Summer of ’62
Recipe by Austin Millspaugh
- 1 oz. Balcones Rye
- 3/4 oz. Green Chartreuse
- 3/4 oz. Averna
- 1/2 oz. Golden Syrup*
- 3 dashes Chocolate Bitters (Bar Keep) (or JOON’s FDA Bitters)
- 1:25 – 1 simple
- Steep with 1/2 cup barley 15 min.
- Once off burner add .25 cup rice tea and let sit for 5 min.
- 4 Egg Whites
- 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
- pinch Salt
- Whip to Stiff Peak.
- Charge in ISI Charger with NO2.
The Long Ride
Recipe by George Kaiho
- 1 1/2 oz. Balcones Rye
- 1/4 oz. Benedictine
- 1/4 oz. Lemon Juice
- 1/4 oz. 100% Black Sesame Paste (No Additive)
- 1/2 oz. House Orgeat
- 1 Egg White
- Combine all ingredients.
- Dry shake in a shaker, and shake virtuously for a short time.
- Double strain and garnish with black sesame.
Recipe by Nicki Petry
- 1 1/2 oz. Balcones Rye Whisky
- 3/4 oz. Montenegro
- 1/2 oz. Cold Brew Coffee
- 1/2 oz. Cinnamon Vanilla Honey Syrup
- 2 dashes Orange Bitters
- 2 dashes Chocolate Bitters
Preparation: Toast cinnamon and vanilla bean in a pan then and 2:1 ratio of Texas hill country honey syrup. Simmer to blend flavors then chill. Mix at ingredients in tin and shake. Strain into coupe and enjoy.
Southern Blues Punch
Recipe by Christian Armando Guillen
- 2 oz. Balcones Baby Blue Whiskey
- 1/2 oz. Ancho Reyes Liqueur
- 3/4 oz. Lime Juice
- 1 oz. Chicha Morada Cordial*
- 1/4 oz. Ginger Juice
- 1/2 oz. Pineapple Juice
*Chicha Morada Cordial
Peruvian non-alcoholic beverage. Similar to an “agua fresca”. Essentially a tea made with purple corn, cinnamon, cloves, pineapple, and sugar. Here, it is reduced down and sweetened to a syrup consistency and used as a sweetening agent.
Preparation: Pour all ingredients into a shaker, and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass over crushed ice. Sprinkle chili Piquin salt over the top and adorn with pineapple leaves and a dehydrated lime. Place the cocktail into a Jicaro (wooden vessel used to drink alcoholic beverages in the Southern part of Mexico) with crushed ice to keep overall cocktail cold. Garnish with edible flowers.
This Must Be the Place
Recipe by Chelsea Santos
- 1 1/2 oz. Balcones Rye
- 1/2 oz. Giffard Abricot du Roussillon
- 1/2 oz. Housemade Chai Syrup
- 1/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1/4 oz. Bittermans ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters
Preparation: Combine all ingredients, shake and strain. Prepare with expressed lemon peel.
Recipe by Trinh Quan Huy-Philip
- 1 1/2 oz. Balcones Baby Blue
- 3/4 oz. Jasmine Liqueur (Violet Crown Spirits)
- 1/2 oz. Bokbunjajoo (Korean Black Raspberry Wine)
- 1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
- dash of Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
- Ginger Ale (Top-Up)
- Add all ingredients (except Ginger Ale) into a shaker with ice and shake well.
- Strain into an ice filled highball glass.
- Top up with Ginger Ale.
- Garnish with fresh mint and slices of orange.
Stay tuned to find out which bartender takes home the grand prize of $5,000!
For more information and to see all of the cocktail entries, visit Chilledmagazine.com/Balcones.