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 balcones cocktail

Summer of ’62

Summer of ’62

Recipe by Austin Millspaugh

Ingredients:

  • 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)

*Golden Syrup

  • 1:25 – 1 simple
  1. Steep with 1/2 cup barley 15 min.
  2. Once off burner add .25 cup rice tea and let sit for 5 min.

**Meringue Foam(Garnish)

  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
  • pinch Salt
  1. Whip to Stiff Peak.
  2. Charge in ISI Charger with NO2.

the long ride balcones cocktail

The Long Ride

The Long Ride

Recipe by George Kaiho

Ingredients:

  • 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

Preparation:

  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Dry shake in a shaker, and shake virtuously for a short time.
  3. Double strain and garnish with black sesame.

night fall balcones cocktail

Night Fall

Night Fall

Recipe by Nicki Petry

Ingredients:

  • 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 balcones cocktail

Southern Blues Punch

Southern Blues Punch

Recipe by Christian Armando Guillen

Ingredients:

  • 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 blacones cocktail

This Must be the Place

This Must Be the Place

Recipe by Chelsea Santos

Ingredients:

  • 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.


texan tea balcones cocktail

Texan Tea

Texan Tea

Recipe by Trinh Quan Huy-Philip

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Preparation:

  1. Add all ingredients (except Ginger Ale) into a shaker with ice and shake well.
  2. Strain into an ice filled highball glass.
  3. Top up with Ginger Ale.
  4. 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.