Cardenal’s Golden Week Cocktail Competition has come to a close, and we are so impressed by all of the amazing recipe submissions that we received from talented bartenders across the country.

Each drink was judged on taste/aroma/character, color/appearance, creativity, name and written inspiration, and they all had to include a Cardenal Mendoza spirit (Cardenal Mendoza Sherry Brandy, Angelus Liqueur and/or Fifty Pounds Gin). We are so excited to announce that the winner is Lauren Pellecchia from Loveland, Ohio for her Brier cocktail. Pellecchia won $1,500 and a trip to visit the Sanchez Romate Winery in Jerez de La Frontera, Spain.

“I was inspired by the classic cocktail, the Bramble, that I had for the first time when I visited the UK in the summer of 2018,” Pellecchia says. “I fell in love with it, but I wanted to put my own spin on it. I wanted a bolder experience with more layers of flavor. I wanted to punch up the flavor profile by making my own blackberry syrup that was bursting with the taste of the berries and sweetened just enough with honey. The earthiness and spice in the Fifty Pounds Gin are highlighted by the blackberry. The layers of citrus in the Cardenal Mendoza Angelus are carried through the cocktail with the help of fresh lemon juice and a little bit of bubbles from club soda for the finishing touch.”

Brier winning cocktail, cocktail on bar with garnish

Brier Winning Cocktail

Brier

Recipe by Lauren Pellecchia

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. Fifty Pounds Gin
  • .5 oz. Cardenal Mendoza Angelus
  • .5 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz. Blackberry-Honey Simple Syrup*
  • 2 drops Orange Bitters
  • 1 splash Club Soda
  • Fresh Blackberries (to Garnish)

Preparation: In a shaker tin with ice, combine the Fifty Pounds Gin, Cardenal Mendoza Angelus, lemon juice and orange bitters. Shake to combine. Strain into a rocks glass filled with cubed ice. Add the Blackberry-Honey Simple Syrup and club soda. Garnish with fresh blackberries and enjoy!

*Blackberry-Honey Simple Syrup

n a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, combine 18 ounces of blackberries with 12 ounces of local honey and 12 ounces of water. Stir occasionally for about 30 minutes. Lower heat and allow to simmer for 15 more minutes. Pour through a fine mesh strainer and allow to cool before use.

In addition to a first-place winner, four runners-up each received a prize of $250. Check out their excellent cocktails below.

Gimme a Beet

Gimme a Beet

Gimme a Beet

Created by Antonio Gonzalez

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. Cardenal Mendoza Sherry Brandy
  • .5 oz. Angelus Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Spiced Honey Syrup*
  • 1.5 oz. Beet Juice**
  • 1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 8-10 Mint Leaves
  • Beet Square (to Garnish)
  • Lemon Twist (to Garnish)

Preparation: Combine all ingredients into a tin with ice and a hard shake for eight seconds. Double strain into a double Old Fashioned glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with a beet square and lemon twist.

*Spiced Honey Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Honey
  • .5 cup Water
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 3 Whole Cloves
  • 1 oz. Sherry

Preparation: Heat all ingredients on high until simmering, and strain.

**Beet Juice

Blend two cups of freshly peeled red beets with one cup of water. Strain and use.


Angelo’s Coffee

Angelo’s Coffee

Angelo’s Coffee

Created by Joan Villanueva

Ingredients:

  • .75 oz. Cardenal Mendoza Sherry Brandy
  • .75 oz. Angelus Liqueur
  • .5 oz. Frangelico
  • 1 oz. Caffè Borghetti
  • .5 oz. Giffard Passion Fruit
  • Dehydrated Lime Wheel (to Garnish)

Preparation: Add all ingredients to a shaker tin. Add three ice cubes and shake until full dilution. Strain into a chilled Nick and Nora glass. Garnish with a dehydrated lime wheel.


Cardenal Sins

Cardenal Sins

Cardenal Sins

Created by Lance Bowman

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserva Brandy
  • .75 oz. Tawny Port
  • .25 oz. Cardenal Mendoza Angelus Liqueur
  • .5 oz. Earl Grey Syrup*
  • .75 oz. Lemon Juice
  • Orange Peel Rose (to Garnish)

Preparation: Combine all liquid ingredients in a shaker tin, add ice and shake. Double strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with a skewered orange rose.

*Earl Grey Syrup

n a saucepan, bring a half ounce of earl grey tea (15 tea bags if not using loose leaf) and 32 ounces of water to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain out tea, add 32 ounces by volume of sugar and stir to dissolve. Cool, label, bottle and date.


La Furia Roja

La Furia Roja

La Furia Roja

Created by Phillip Childers

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Cardenal Mendoza Sherry Brandy
  • 1 oz. Fifty Pounds Gin
  • .5 oz. Manzanilla Sherry
  • .5 oz. Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 bar spoons Creme de Noyaux
  • Lemon Twist (to Garnish)

Preparation: Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir until properly diluted. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lemon twist after expressing the oils.