Here are the winners in week 4 of the Chilled Media and 375 Park Avenue Spirits Toast to the Service Industry Program!
Thank you to all the bartenders who have participated. The turnout was fantastic and the entries were some of the best original cocktails we’ve seen!
Here are the final ten (10) bartenders who will receive $500 each via Venmo and a chance at competing for more cash prizes—1st prize $4000, 2nd prize $3000, 3rd prize $2000, and 4th prize 1,000—during the Virtual Live Stream hosted and judged by industry veteran Jonathan Pogash coming soon!
Christopher Barragan – Fleming’s Prime, Canoga Park
- 1 1/2 oz. Cutty Sark
- 3/4 oz. Marie Brizard Liqueur de Violette
- 3/4 oz. blueberry syrup*
- 3/4 oz. lemon juice
- 2 dashes Scrappy’s Lavender Bitters
Preparation: Add all ingredients into a mixing tin and shake until a proper dilution. Double strain into a Chilled coupe glass and zest then discard a lemon and garnish with 3 skewered blueberries.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 small basket of blueberries
- zest of lemon
Preparation: Bring water to boil and dissolve sugar. Gently press blueberries and add to simple syrup, then zest a lemon and simmer on low/medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring regularly. Fine strain and keep cool.
“Scotch is the quintessential “Water of Life” and I wanted ingredients known to have healing qualities, so this cocktail is not only good, but good for you. Blueberries are well known for their anti-oxidant properties, while lemon adds Vitamin C, violets are anti-inflammatory and lavender is a natural antiseptic. We all need a little TLC these days and as for the garnish, these represent the true nature of this cocktail. Health, happiness, and prosperity!”
Jonathan Stanyard – Brother Barrel, Seattle
- 1 oz. Scapegrace Gin
- 1 oz. Campari infused with strawberries
- 1 oz. Blanco Vermouth infused with Spirulina
- 1 bar-spoon Fino Sherry
- 1 bar-spoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Preparation: Add ingredients to a mixing glass, add ice and stir 30 rotations for proper chilling and dilution. Strain into garnish prepped chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cucumber peel and strawberry blossom.
“I was inspired to create this cocktail while gardening on a relatively sunny afternoon. I saw the strawberry blossoms coming to life, and I wanted to make a cocktail that was fruity but encapsulated many other current feelings. This cocktail must resemble some bitter and bright, but also keep its balance. Now is the time for a perfectly balanced cocktail, and the Scapegrace Dry Gin fell right into place with the strawberry and spirulina. Fresh cucumber brings a lovely nose to this light but deep-hearted riff of the classic Negroni.”
The Anonimus Ondre
Fabio Steven Gonzalez – The Living Room at Park Hyatt, NY
- 1 1/2 oz. Becherovka
- 1/2 oz. Wiser’s Small Batch
- 3/4 oz. lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- 3/4 oz. Hibiscus Tea syrup (homemade)*
- 1 oz. Pilsner Beer
Preparation: Jigger all ingredients into a shaker except beer, add ice and shake until the desired dilution has been reached (close to 10 seconds). Jigger the beer into stemless wine glass, double strain liquid from the shaker into the glass, add fresh ice, and garnish with a fresh lemon wheel and a dehydrated flower. *Hibiscus syrup: Add 1 cup of water and 1 hibiscus tea bag to saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 cup of sugar and stir with a whisk until dissolved. Immediately remove from the heat. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 4 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth into a sealable container and keep refrigerated.
“The inspiration for this cocktail came from my last visit to Prague. While in this magnificent city, my wife and I frequented a bar where we would take shots of Becherovka, sip Bourbon, and drink Czech Pilsner. We also became good friends with the bartender and I still have many fond memories of our conversations with him and this was the foundation I utilized to create this cocktail.”
Jorge Vallejo – Fig and Olive Chicago
- 2 oz. Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça
- 1 oz. fresh pineapple juice
- 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz. rich orange-anise syrup*
- 4 fresh mint leaves (hand-clapped)
- 3 dashes of Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate bitters
Preparation: In a shaker tin, add fresh mint once you have hand-clapped it, releasing the oils. Add the rest of the ingredients to shaker; add fresh ice, shake, and fine strain into your glass. Garnish with one star anise pod on top of the cocktail and serve. Cheers!
*Rich Orange-Anise Syrup
- 1 cup of Sugar in the Raw turbinado cane sugar
- 1/2 cup of water
- Peels of a whole orange
- 2 star anise pods (slightly muddled to release flavor)
Preparation: In a small saucepan on simmer, add sugar and water. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved, then add orange peels and star anise, steep for 5 minutes. Let cool and then fine strain to separate solids.
“Sugar cane spirits have been part of my life from a young age. With Novo Fogo I wanted to create a drink that will credit their commitment towards the Atlantic rainforest, which is where its cachaça is produced. During these uncertain times, I want to maintain positivity while recognizing that life could be like a rainbow, sometimes you need both the rain and the sun to make all of its colors appear.”
Mornings in Pai’a
Adran Gonzalez – Better Days, Miami
- 1 1/2 oz. Van Gogh Mango Vodka
- 1/2 oz. passion fruit liqueur
- 3/4 oz. lemon juice
- 1/4 oz. simple syrup
- 1/8 slice of avocado
Preparation: Lightly muddle the avocado in a cocktail tin, and then add the rest of your ingredients. Top with ice, and shake vigorously for 20 seconds to break down the avocado, and create a creamy texture. Fine strain into a stemmed cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon wheel, and a flower.
“As I sit here in my home, I reflect back to five years ago when everything I owned fit in a backpack, and my nights were spent sleeping outside in my hammock. I was what some would call “a beach bum.” I lived on the coast of Maui, and I spent my mornings foraging for fruits. Everyday was an adventure filled with uncertainty. Although at the time, my days seemed difficult and full of uncertainty, as I reflect back, I realized that they were some of the most fulfilling days of my life. The reason I reflect back today is because once again uncertainty and doubt has loomed over us, but just like my days living under the stars, I hope that one day we’ll look back at this and realize how much stronger we are because of it.”
Muracuja y Pimenta
Kay Mohamed – Scl, Oak Park
- 2 oz. JP Wisers Rye Whisky
- 1/2 oz. Marie Brizard Passionfruit Liqueur
- 3/4 oz. peppercorn-infused vanilla syrup*
- 1/2 oz. lemon juice
- 1/4 oz. lime juice
Preparation: Pour ingredients over ice in mixing glass. Stir until all incorporated. Strain over artisan ice. Garnish with peppercorn vanilla sugar rim.
*Peppercorn-infused Vanilla bean Syrup (1:1)
Add 2 tbsp. of cracked black peppercorns and half vanilla bean to equal parts water (2 cups) and sugar (2 cups). Boil then simmer. Cool set aside.
“I was making whiskey sours with JP Wisers Rye and vanilla bean syrup and wanted an extra punch of flavor. I decided to use the addition of fresh cracked peppercorns essence and add a little extra of passionfruit liqueur. This made the whiskey sour quite nice but I think the slight addition of lime juice made the tartness up just a smidge.”
Rum, Chicken, Rum
Xania Woodman – O.P. Rockwell Cocktail Lounge, Park City
- 1 1/2 oz. Saint James Rhum Ambré Agricole Rum
- 1/2 oz. Alpine Distilling Preserve Liqueur
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. fresh mandarin juice
- 1 barspoon apricot preserves
- 1/5 oz. Mike’s Hot Honey
- 1/5 oz. cane sugar syrup
Preparation: Combine ingredients in a shaker, add ice, cover, shake well and double-strain into a chilled cocktail coupe.
“A friend of mine recently told me that when she was done with quarantine, what she wanted more than anything in the world was Nashville-style hot chicken. I’ve been using Mike’s Hot Honey to make spicy Margaritas for a while now, and I love the gentle, sweet heat that it adds to cocktails. I’ve also made sure that I’ve had a heaping bowl of “Cuties” mandarins in my kitchen so that I can keep my vitamin C levels up. Recently, I’ve started using the juice in my sours. This combination of lemon juice, mandarin juice, and hot honey is something I’ve been playing with almost daily during lockdown. But of all the spirits I’ve tried thus far, rum is a clear winner for preparing the base for this trilogy.”
The Picture Show
Kimberly Riordan – Legacy Hospitality, The Vig Chicago
- 1 oz. Marie Brizard Creme de Cacao
- 2 oz. bourbon (preferably a sweeter option, such as Buffalo trace)
- 1 oz. Homemade kettlecorn syrup*
- 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Preparation: Add all ingredients (except bitters) to shaker tin with ice. Shake well and double strain into coupe. Top with bitters and garnish.
*Homemade Kettlecorn Syrup
- 2 cups kettlecorn, crushed in blender
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preparation: Mix water and sugar until dissolved. Add kettlecorn, stir and cover for 1 hour. Add salt and stir. Strain with mesh strainer to get all pieces removed, leaving only syrup.
“Wanted to bring the feel of those late night drive in movies to a glass. After mixing together countless liqueurs, attempting to get a kettlecorn/popcorn type flavor, I though—why not simple make a syrup WITH delicious kettlecorn?? The result was a salty, sweet, yet surprising light bourbon and cacao concoction that I just fell in love with.”
Mark Tubridy – 21 Club, Brooklyn
- 1 1/2 oz. Casa San Matias Tequila
- 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
- 1/2 oz. Aperol
- 3/4 oz. hibiscus cordial*
- 2 dashes Spiced Chocolate Bitters (The Bitter Truth)
Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass; add ice and stir well to chill. Strain into a rocks glass over one large ice cube and insert one thin piece of Mexican cinnamon bark into the glass.
- 35 g dried hibiscus
- 300 g agave nectar
- 100 g water
- 1 tsp. citric acid
- 1/2 tsp. tartaric acid
Preparation: Combine agave nectar and water in a small saucepan over low-medium heat, stirring to achieve uniform consistency. Once the mixture just barely reaches a boil, remove it from heat and whisk in acids until they dissolve. While cordial is still hot, add hibiscus, stir to mix and then cover and let steep for 2 – 4 hours. Strain cordial and refrigerate.
“El Sagrado Corazón, or the Sacred Heart, is an important symbol throughout the world, representing unconditional love and protection even during tumultuous and painful times. Regardless of your religious beliefs, I think we can all find some comfort in the idea that in the midst of this great challenge facing humanity, love remains eternal, and there are many selfless hearts making sacrifices to keep us safe. I’m reminded of this selflessness each day as New York City residents, and others around the world, take a moment to show their appreciation for the healthcare workers who are risking their lives to help save ours.”
Under the Plum Tree
Kelly Chi – The Saap Avenue, Berkeley
- 1 1/2 oz. Paul John Brilliance
- 3/4 oz. honey syrup*
- 1/2 oz. lemon juice
- 1/4 oz. Choya Umeshu
- 4-5 sprigs fresh lavender
- Barley tea large ice cube**
Preparation: Combine Paul John Brilliance, honey syrup, lemon juice, umeshu and lavender in a shaker tin. Muddle fresh lavender. Shake vigorously for 7-10 seconds. Double strain into a rocks glass on top of large barley tea ice cube. **Barley tea ice cube: Steep for 5 minutes 10 g barley tea (found at Asian grocery stores and some natural grocery stores) and 400 g boiling hot water; Pour into large ice cube mold and freeze.
*Honey Syrup (2:1)
- 200 g honey
- 100 g water
Preparation: Combine in saucepan on medium to high heat. Stir until dissolved.
“This drink was inspired by my outdoor garden and the new green growth in my backyard as we move through spring. Despite the difficult and challenging times we are in, one of the silver linings for me was the newfound time to work on and appreciate my garden and outdoor space. This time of year lavender is abundant in my garden and I was happy to get a chance to use it in a cocktail. It had a mildly floral and unique herbaceousness that complimented the sweet fragrance and mild spices found in Paul John Brilliance. I also happen to have a lovely plum tree in my backyard, which I make homemade umeshu with the plums. (Photo shows the lavender in my garden used in the drink).”