Magnificent Bastard

Thursday, October 23, 2014

mb cocktail contest

Ask the MB: Magnificent Bastard Cocktail Glassware

Ask the MB: Magnificent Bastard Cocktail Glassware
Q: Where can you find these glasses used in your wonderful photo promoting the concoction of the Magnificent Bastard cocktail?
—Alan


A: A cocktail glass is like a bra, Alan. Ultimately it doesn't matter how fancy it is — it's what inside that's going to make your evening. Which is our way of saying that we got those glasses at Crate & Barrel. Simple, functional, they do the job. When someone breaks a glass at one of your parties, you want them to regret the lost cocktail, not the lost glassware.

Earlier: The Magnificent Bastard Cocktail

Contact the MB: Bars that Serve the MB Cocktail

Contact the MB: Bars that Serve the MB Cocktail
Q: The cocktail contest was a sheer success. My local bar is buzzing about the drink; it's possibly the best form of advertising you could have done! Thanks. ("Two more MBs, please" - Me)
--William


A: William, thanks for your note. We're glad to hear your bar of choice stocks all the ingredients an MB cocktail requires. Let us know its name and location, and we'll add it to a nationwide directory we're compiling of establishments that serve MBs.

Public service announcement: We'd like to create an extensive directory. If you have a favorite bar where you've ordered our signature cocktail, please share this info with us. Send us its name, city/state, and a note or two about what makes it a great place to drink MBs.

Stockpile Angostura Bitters Before It's Too Late!

Angostura Bitters via KegWorks, $7.99
Angostura Bitters via KegWorks. $7.99.
Has it only been a week since we chose the winning MB Cocktail? We feel like we've been drinking them for years already. And here in Pulaski, we fear we're putting a serious dent into the local supplies of Bulleit, Apfelkorn, and Angostura bitters. (We're OK on the Laphroaig 10-year, since the MB Cocktail requires just an 1/8 oz per serving.)

The Angostura pipeline is especially iffy. This old-school bitters, the yellow-topped one we used to pass over while pillaging Dad's liquor cabinet in the '90s, is in short supply worldwide due to an ingredient shortage and "financial restructuring" at House of Angostura.

No way you should let a lack of gentian root or the global financial crisis curb your thirst for Bryan Swanson's delicious contribution to humanity. So grab Angostura while you can, and grab a lot. A pallet of the stuff recently arrived at KegWorks and we've already secured a case for our immediate needs. And if things get really dire, there's always Dad's liquor cabinet. But he sleeps with a shotgun next to the bed and frankly he's getting a little jumpy as he gets on in years. Ordering through KegWorks is the safest bet.

Introducing The Magnificent Bastard Cocktail

Introducing The Magnificent Bastard Cocktail
A hundred years from now, will the iPad be known only as the second most revolutionary invention to make its debut during the first week of April 2010? We'd like to think so, but then again, we're still kind of drunk.

After seven weeks of pitting 32 cocktails against each other in head-to-head combat, we've finally got a winner: Bryan Swanson's Magnificent Bastard cocktail. See complete details.

We toast all who submitted entries, all who judged, and our sponsor KegWorks. Stay tuned for our next contest, which will, at the insistence of our synapses, involve coffee as well as alcohol.

MB Cocktail Contest: Final Four Preview

MB Cocktail Contest: Final Four Preview
Tonight we gather to drink the four tastiest entries into the Magnificent Bastard Cocktail Contest. These are all great cocktails that we will be mixing regularly, but only one can win. Here's a preview:

BRYAN SWANSON

How they got there: The Bryan Swanson may have had the most up and down tourney so far. It was handed an early victory by a lackluster Brian Lee, but then topped the John Dietl, a notable cocktail that may have only lost because it's too seasonal.

Why you might bet on it: In a word, "drinkability." Also, don't overlook the sturdiness to the presentation. The straightforward, "give it to me in rocks glass" approach strikes a strong MB chord.

Why you might not: The downside of being so easily drinkable may mean that it lacks the depth that's required to be considered the MB cocktail.

MATT HAMLIN

How they got there: The Matt Hamlin is the only cocktail not to have had an easy 5-0 victory along the way, mainly due to coming out of what might have been the most competitive bracket, Simplicity. Perhaps this has prepared it for the challenges ahead.

Why you might bet on it: This could be called a Mezcal Rob Roy, always an MB standard. Also, its mix of the New World and Old World has been called brilliant by some judges.

Why you might not: The quality mezcal makes this cocktail, but also introduces some risk. The smokiness is very reminiscent of a good single malt, but this isn't appreciated by all judges.

XOPHER HARTMAN

How they got there: Of the remaining four, this cocktail probably had the easiest first two matchups which were both too perfumey to be seriously considered. It then showed it deserved to be in the Final Four by beating the well balanced Matt Konrad.

Why you might bet on it: Though the XH came out of the Heritage bracket, it might best adhere to the MB's "classic with a twist" style. It's a new take on the always bastardly Sazerac. Rye Whiskey > Bourbon / Absinthe > Chartreuse / Sugar Cube > Simple Sugar / Peychaud's = Peychaud's / Lemon Twist > Orange Twist.

Why you might not: The strong, unique taste of this cocktail may mean it could be beat out by the smoothness and drinkability in the other Final Four cocktails.

CARIE L. FULLER

How they got there: This cocktail has had the easiest route to the Final Four. It has beat some at their own game (Tom Brown), and easily surpassed aftershave stand-ins like the Akio Katano. Though it beat the David McCabe 5-0 in the round of the Elite Eight, this may have been due to the McCabe being too seasonal (summer).

Why you might bet on it: It might be hard to bet against a cocktail that is 15-0. Among the finalists, it is best on the nose, and its complexity of flavors might be hard to match.

Why you might not: The CLF is by far the fussiest of the remaining cocktails. We've been enjoying flaming the orange peel over the cocktail, but this may get old after a couple of hundred, a valid criterion to what will ultimately be the MB Cocktail. In short, is this a big flash, or a flash in the pan?

MB Cocktail Contest: Bryan Swanson vs. John Dietl

MB Cocktail Contest: Bryan Swanson vs. John Dietl

Bryan Swanson

Ingredients:
2 oz Bulleit bourbon
1 oz Berentzen Apfelkorn
1/8 oz Laphroaig 10-year scotch
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir vigorously for 20-30 seconds. Strain into ice-filled rocks glass.

John Dietl

Ingredients:
1.5 oz. London Dry Gin
0.5 oz. Bonded Apple Brandy
1 tsp. simple syrup (1-to-1 sugar to water)
4 drops Orange Bitters
1 lemon twist

1. Pour the Gin, the Apple Brandy, the simple syrup, and the bitters into a mixing vessel.
2. Stir with ice.
3. Strain into a cocktail glass.
4. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Winner: Bryan Swanson
Score: 4-1
Game Summary: Swanson's is a strong, classic, sexy drink that's dangerously quaffable. Dietl's is a very good cocktail but perhaps better suited for summer, and for the MBG (Magnificent Bastard Girlfriend). They would make a really cute couple.

See the full tournament field

Contest sponsored by KegWorks

MB Cocktail Contest: Sean Zimmer vs. Matt Hamlin

MB Cocktail Contest: Sean Zimmer vs. Matt Hamlin

Sean Zimmer

Ingredients:
2 parts Alberta Premium Rye Whiskey
2 parts Drambuie
1 part Cointreau
1.5 parts fresh lime juice

Stir with ice 10 times clockwise, 10 times counter-clockwise. Drain into chilled martini glass. Repeat until Bastardized.

Matt Hamlin

Ingredients:
1 oz Mezcal (Del Maguey Chichicapa)
.5 oz Dry Vermouth (Dolin Dry)
.5 oz Sweet Vermouth (Dolin Sweet)
1.5 bar spoons Maraschino (Luxardo)

Stir all ingredients over ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Winner: Matt Hamlin
Score: 4-1
Game Summary: We will be mixing Zimmer's drink on occasion this summer. The Drambuie really pumps the flavor, along with the lime, of course. Hamlin's is pretty genius. Take the equivalent of agave Laphroaig ($60/bottle Del Maguey Chichicapa mezcal), and make it perfect with a touch of Luxardo Maraschino. If you've acquired a taste for mezcal (an MB requirement), this is good stuff.

See the full tournament field

Contest sponsored by KegWorks

MB Cocktail Contest: Xopher Hartman vs. Matt Konrad

MB Cocktail Contest: Xopher Hartman vs. Matt Konrad

Xopher Hartman

Ingredients:
1.5 oz bourbon (I used Jim Beam black label)
0.5 oz green Chartreuse
0.125 oz simple syrup
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
orange peel (garnish)

Shake all liquid ingredients with ice in a boston shaker, then drain into a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with orange peel.

Matt Konrad

Ingredients:
2 oz Rhum Barbancourt
1/2 oz Gosling's Black Seal Rum
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters

Measure all ingredients into glass half of Boston shaker. Shake with ice. Strain into chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a redhead who can tie the stem with her tongue.

Winner: Xopher Hartman
Score: 4-1
Game Summary: Konrad's drink has a cool color and aesthetic, with nice fall notes. The problem for him is it's up against Hartman's neo-Sazerac buzzsaw. This is a highly successful "classic with a twist."

See the full tournament field

Contest sponsored by KegWorks

MB Cocktail Contest: Carie L. Fuller vs. David McCabe

MB Cocktail Contest: Carie L. Fuller vs. David McCabe

Carie L. Fuller

Ingredients:
1/2 oz. Absinthe (Vieux Pontarlier)
1 1/2 oz. Plymouth Dry Gin
3/4 oz. Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz. St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
Full dash of Orange Bitters
Flamed orange peel garnish

Rinse cocktail glass with 1/2 oz. Absinthe
Chill cocktail glass
Pour Gin, Sweet Vermouth, Liqueur, and full dash of orange bitters into mixing glass over ice.
Stir for 20 seconds.
Cut fresh disk of orange peel with fair amount of pith.
Julep strain mixing glass into cocktail glass.
Flame orange peel above cocktail to release delicious, fresh, orange oil mist. Place in glass as garnish.

David McCabe

Ingredients:
1.5 Oz Dry Gin
0.75 Oz St Germain Eldeflower Liqueur
0.50 Oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Lemon Twist for Garnish

This is a very simple cocktail, which gives it great mass appeal. Combine the gin, the St. Germain, and the lemon juice in a shaker. Fill with ice and shake. Now shake some more. And a bit more. When it's too cold to shake, just give it one or two more good shakes. Serve it up in a martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Winner: Carie L. Fuller
Score: 5-0
Game Summary: McCabe's "Southside-with-a-twist" will be mixed in the offices this summer. Fuller's somewhat fussy cocktail is smooth and easy drinking, and tough to stop at just one. The cocktail equivalent of Pringles! (This drink is currently 15-0 through three rounds.)

See the full tournament field

Contest sponsored by KegWorks

MB Cocktail Contest: Christopher Null vs. Bryan Swanson

MB Cocktail Contest: Christopher Null vs. Bryan Swanson

Christopher Null

Ingredients:
Laphroaig 10 Years Old Scotch whisky (for rinsing)
2 oz. anejo tequila
1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
splash of agave nectar

Rinse a cocktail glass with the Laphroaig and pour most of it out. Add remaining ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into the prepared glass. Don't bother with a garnish.

Bryan Swanson

Ingredients:
2 oz Bulleit bourbon
1 oz Berentzen Apfelkorn
1/8 oz Laphroaig 10-year scotch
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir vigorously for 20-30 seconds. Strain into ice-filled rocks glass.

Winner: Bryan Swanson
Score: 5-0
Game Summary: Null's is a fine update to the margarita, but Swanson's is more of a cocktail, and an extremely tasty one. The Berentzen Apfelkorn really softens the bourbon, making it more interesting and drinkable. In fact, it makes it so drinkable this is a highly dangerous cocktail if consumed by amateurs.

See the full tournament field

Contest sponsored by KegWorks

MB Cocktail Contest: Michael Oakley vs. John Dietl

MB Cocktail Contest: Michael Oakley vs. John Dietl

Michael Oakley

Ingredients:
2 oz tanquery 10 gin
1/2 oz campari
1/2 oz st. Germain
1/4 oz luxardo maraschino liquor
1/8 oz orgeat
2 dashes Fee's barrel aged whiskey bitters

Stir with twice the amount of ice you usually use and garnish with an almond flake

John Dietl

Ingredients:
1.5 oz. London Dry Gin
0.5 oz. Bonded Apple Brandy
1 tsp. simple syrup (1-to-1 sugar to water)
4 drops Orange Bitters
1 lemon twist

1. Pour the Gin, the Apple Brandy, the simple syrup, and the bitters into a mixing vessel.
2. Stir with ice.
3. Strain into a cocktail glass.
4. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Winner: John Dietl
Score: 3-2
Game Summary: Oakley's cocktail was called "exciting" by one judge, but the majority of the others could not conceive of finishing the whole thing. Plus it's a bit fussy. When we have the Spectacular Bitch cocktail contest, this could be the winner. Dietl's drink is simple, beautiful, enjoyable.

See the full tournament field

Contest sponsored by KegWorks

MB Cocktail Contest: Ben Allen vs. Sean Zimmer

MB Cocktail Contest: Ben Allen vs. Sean Zimmer

Ben Allen

Ingredients:
2 oz rye whiskey (Rittenhouse bonded)
1/2 oz Cointreau liqueur
1/2 oz Jagermeister liqueur
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir all ingredients with cracked ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Twist lemon peel over glass and add as garnish.

Sean Zimmer

Ingredients:
2 parts Alberta Premium Rye Whiskey
2 parts Drambuie
1 part Cointreau
1.5 parts fresh lime juice

Stir with ice 10 times clockwise, 10 times counter-clockwise. Drain into chilled martini glass. Repeat until Bastardized.

Winner: Sean Zimmer
Score: 3-2
Game Summary: We admit to "lime bias," but the majority of the judges found Zimmer's cocktail to be more complex and worthwhile, with the lingering Drambuie stretching it out nicely. Ben Allen's drink was a worthy contender and notable for bringing Jagermeister back into serious conversations.

See the full tournament field

Contest sponsored by KegWorks

MB Cocktail Contest: Gary Cartwright vs. Matt Hamlin

MB Cocktail Contest: Gary Cartwright vs. Matt Hamlin

Gary Cartwright

Ingredients:
4-6 mint leaves
1 3/4 oz bourbon
3/4 Citronge or other quality triple sec
splash sweetened lime juice

Rip and lightly crush mint leaves in a shaker tin with spoon or whatnot, then add lots of ice, the spirits and lime. Stir well, until tin dews up, and strain carefully over ice, with a lime twist or wheel garnish.

Matt Hamlin

Ingredients:
1 oz Mezcal (Del Maguey Chichicapa)
.5 oz Dry Vermouth (Dolin Dry)
.5 oz Sweet Vermouth (Dolin Sweet)
1.5 bar spoons Maraschino (Luxardo)

Stir all ingredients over ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Winner: Matt Hamlin
Score: 4-1
Game Summary: Cartwright's is a good quaffing drink, like something you'd have in your hand while yelling at the pool boy. Hamlin's drink is something you have in your hand while yelling at the guy who yells at the pool boy.

See the full tournament field

Contest sponsored by KegWorks

MB Cocktail Contest: Xopher Hartman vs. darin hanson

MB Cocktail Contest: Xopher Hartman vs. darin hanson

Xopher Hartman

Ingredients:
1.5 oz bourbon (I used Jim Beam black label)
0.5 oz green Chartreuse
0.125 oz simple syrup
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
orange peel (garnish)

Shake all liquid ingredients with ice in a boston shaker, then drain into a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with orange peel.

darin hanson

Ingredients:
1 oz Lairds Applejack
3/4 oz Makers Mark
3/4 oz Domaine de Canton
3-4 dashes Fee Bros Whisky Barrel Bitters
1/2 Tsp Simple Syrup

Add ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.

Winner: Xopher Hartman
Score: 4-1
Game Summary: Hanson's drink is definitely pretty good. Hartman's Franco-Sazerac is better.

See the full tournament field

Contest sponsored by KegWorks

MB Cocktail Contest: Bob Schmitt vs. Matt Konrad

MB Cocktail Contest: Bob Schmitt vs. Matt Konrad

Bob Schmitt

Ingredients:
The key here is the quality/quantity of bourbon against the splash size of Roses and Cointreau. The bitters and cherry syrup are critical and cannot be left out. To dry it out, reduce quantity of vermouth.

In an Old Fashioned glass:

-2oz Bourbon, preferably Woodford's Reserve or Jim Beam Black.
-2 tbsp Dry Vermouth
-Splash Roses Lime Juice
-Splash Cointreau
-4 dashes, Angostura bitters
-1/4 tsp maraschino cherry syrup

Garnish with
-Orange peel, 3 inch curl
-Maraschino cherry

Matt Konrad

Ingredients:
2 oz Rhum Barbancourt
1/2 oz Gosling's Black Seal Rum
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters

Measure all ingredients into glass half of Boston shaker. Shake with ice. Strain into chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a redhead who can tie the stem with her tongue.

Winner: Matt Konrad
Score: 5-0
Game Summary: Schmitt's was the Gilbert Gottfried of the night: a little whiney. All the ingredients in Konrad's drink are working together, especially how the Cointreau lightens up the cherry influence. One of three 5-0 scores of the 2nd round.

See the full tournament field

Contest sponsored by KegWorks

MB Cocktail Contest: Carie L. Fuller vs. Tom Brown

MB Cocktail Contest: Carie L. Fuller vs. Tom Brown

Carie L. Fuller

Ingredients:
1/2 oz. Absinthe (Vieux Pontarlier)
1 1/2 oz. Plymouth Dry Gin
3/4 oz. Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz. St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
Full dash of Orange Bitters
Flamed orange peel garnish

Rinse cocktail glass with 1/2 oz. Absinthe
Chill cocktail glass
Pour Gin, Sweet Vermouth, Liqueur, and full dash of orange bitters into mixing glass over ice.
Stir for 20 seconds.
Cut fresh disk of orange peel with fair amount of pith.
Julep strain mixing glass into cocktail glass.
Flame orange peel above cocktail to release delicious, fresh, orange oil mist. Place in glass as garnish.

Tom Brown

Ingredients:
1 1/2 oz Haymann's Old Tom gin
1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1 dash Kubler Absinthe
1 dash Fee Brother's Peach Bitters

Add ingredients together with ice in a cocktail tin and stir.
Strain into cocktail glass.

Winner: Carie L. Fuller
Score: 5-0
Game Summary: Tom Brown met his doppelganger and it turned out to be a lot better looking. Fuller's drink has a nose that makes your mouth water, and it tastes pretty good, too. It's the only drink to go 10-0 through the first two rounds.

See the full tournament field

Contest sponsored by KegWorks

MB Cocktail Contest: David McCabe vs. Chris Gerber

MB Cocktail Contest: David McCabe vs. Chris Gerber

David McCabe

Ingredients:
1.5 Oz Dry Gin
0.75 Oz St Germain Eldeflower Liqueur
0.50 Oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Lemon Twist for Garnish

This is a very simple cocktail, which gives it great mass appeal. Combine the gin, the St. Germain, and the lemon juice in a shaker. Fill with ice and shake. Now shake some more. And a bit more. When it's too cold to shake, just give it one or two more good shakes. Serve it up in a martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Chris Gerber

Ingredients:
3 parts Plymouth Gin
1 part High Proof Vodka (such as Red or Blue Label Stolichnaya)
1 part Dry Vermouth

Shake in chilled shaker over cracked ice, or stir, and strain into chilled cocktail glass, topping glass off with:

Fever Tree Tonic Water (1/3 a bottle, or about 3 oz)

and garnishing with a perfect MB's choice Lemon Twist

Winner: David McCabe
Score: 4-1
Game Summary: Gerber's drink is a nice, upscale twist on the gin and tonic, but without somehow icing the tonic it was a touch warm. The lemon-eldeflower balance of McCabe's cocktail is pretty awesome. A pitcher of these would go great with a cricket test match.

See the full tournament field

Contest sponsored by KegWorks

MB Cocktail Update: One of the Losers

The Tommy Gun: Pam Anderson garnish optional
The Tommy Gun: Pam Anderson garnish optional
The Magnificent Bastard Cocktail Contest resumes next Thursday, March 11. In the meantime, here is cocktail submission that didn't make the cut to 32:

name: Tom G
email: *redacted*
recipe: Jack Daniels
Red Bull
Diet Coke or Pepsi

1. Use a 16 oz. or "tall glass".
2. Fill glass to rim with ice.
3. Add one generous shot of Jack
4. Add a splash and I mean a splash of Red Bull. A quick wrist flick usually works.
5. Fill remainder of glass with diet cola and stir.

This is a drink I created that I call the Tommy Gun named after myself of course. If you want a double you can order it with an "extra clip" of booze. The key is to not add too much Red Bull.

It is a drink I order after several hours in the bar in order to get a little extra boost of caffeine to either continue drinking or to help try and sober up enough to drive home. Yes the Red Bull tastes like Pixie Stix but the splash makes the drink a touch sweeter.

The Tommy Gun is sweeping the Nation.

MB Cocktail Contest: Bill York vs. Matt Hamlin

MB Cocktail Contest: Bill York vs. Matt Hamlin

Bill York

Ingredients:
2 oz Herradura Silver Tequila
1 Tbsp St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
2 healthy dashes Angostura bitters
1 lemon twist

Instructions:
Add cracked ice to chilled mixing glass. Combine wet ingredients in the glass and stir for 30 seconds. Strain into a cocktail or highball glass or simply pour (ice and all) into a highball glass. Squeeze the twist and drop it in the glass.

Matt Hamlin

1 oz Mezcal (Del Maguey Chichicapa)
.5 oz Dry Vermouth (Dolin Dry)
.5 oz Sweet Vermouth (Dolin Sweet)
1.5 bar spoons Maraschino (Luxardo)

Instructions:
Stir all ingredients over ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Winner: Matt Hamlin
Score: 4-1
Game Summary: York's cocktail was interesting because it contained a cloaking device (tequila was disguised as the main liquor). However, it couldn't hold the jockstrap of Hamlin's tequila Rob Roy, which was well balanced, finished beautifully, and forced most of us to drink the whole thing.

See the full tournament field

MB Cocktail Contest: Gary Cartwright vs. Chris Weigert

MB Cocktail Contest: Gary Cartwright vs. Chris Weigert

Gary Cartwright

Ingredients:
4-6 mint leaves
1 3/4 oz bourbon
3/4 Citronge or other quality triple sec
splash sweetened lime juice

Instructions:
Rip and lightly crush mint leaves in a shaker tin with spoon or whatnot, then add lots of ice, the spirits and lime. Stir well, until tin dews up, and strain carefully over ice, with a lime twist or wheel garnish.

Chris Weigert

2 1/2 oz rye whiskey
2 fresh raspberries
3 dashes grapefruit bitters
juice of 1/6 lemon (of your average small lemon slice)

Instructions:
shake all well with ice, allowing the berries to be crushed in the shaker. Double strain into a DOF glass filled with ice. Garnish with lemon twist and a small slice of grapefruit.

Winner: Gary Cartwright
Score: 5-0
Game Summary: Weigert's raspberries weren't enough sweet to balance the sour. Cartwright's drink kept going; we wanted to keep exploring. It's very well balanced with subtle notes from all the ingredients.

See the full tournament field

MB Cocktail Contest: Michael Oakley vs. Isaac Blesener

MB Cocktail Contest: Michael Oakley vs. Isaac Blesener

Michael Oakley

Ingredients:
2 oz tanquery 10 gin
1/2 oz campari
1/2 oz st. Germain
1/4 oz luxardo maraschino liquor
1/8 oz orgeat
2 dashes Fee's barrel aged whiskey bitters

Instructions:
Stir with twice the amount of ice you usually use and garnish with an almond flake

Isaac Blesener

3 shots rye whiskey*
1/4 shot simple syrup
Angostura bitters
1/4 shot Cognac**
twist of lemon

*Sazerac is my preferred rye for cocktails, but Jim Beam rye works well and is highly underrated.
**Choose a brand you can enjoy on its own. I prefer "fine Champagne" Cognacs (e.g. Hine VSOP, Hardy VSOP, Remy Martin VSOP), but Hennessy VS also works; don't use Courvoisier VS.

Instructions:
Stir together simple syrup with 3 drops of Angostura in the bottom of a highball glass. Add the rye whiskey and fill the glass with ice. Stir for about 30 seconds and then strain into a lowball glass that has been rinsed with Cognac and filled about halfway with ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Winner: Michael Oakley
Score: 3-2
Game Summary: Oakley's drink was a touch bitter, though there was not enough new in Blesener's cocktail to warrant advancement to the 2nd round.

See the full tournament field

MB Cocktail Contest: alex smith vs. John Dietl

MB Cocktail Contest: alex smith vs. John Dietl

alex smith

Ingredients:
2 oz. Cruzan Single Barrel Rum (or other good quality gold rum)
.25 oz. Cane Syrup
.25 oz. Lemon Juice
.25 oz. Campari

Instructions:
Combine all ingredients, shake with ice & strain into cocktail coupe. Garnish with a wide lemon zest.

John Dietl

1.5 oz. London Dry Gin
0.5 oz. Bonded Apple Brandy
1 tsp. simple syrup (1-to-1 sugar to water)
4 drops Orange Bitters
1 lemon twist

Instructions:
1. Pour the Gin, the Apple Brandy, the simple syrup, and the bitters into a mixing vessel.
2. Stir with ice.
3. Strain into a cocktail glass.
4. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Winner: John Dietl
Score: 5-0
Game Summary: Smith's drink looked good on paper. It even smelled good. But on the tongue it was flat and one note. Dietl's drink was light and refreshing, like water chestnuts in a stir fry. A very strong cocktail.

See the full tournament field

MB Cocktail Contest: Tom Brown vs. William Whitfield

MB Cocktail Contest: Tom Brown vs. William Whitfield

Tom Brown

Ingredients:
1 1/2 oz Haymann's Old Tom gin
1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1 dash Kubler Absinthe
1 dash Fee Brother's Peach Bitters

Instructions:
Add ingredients together with ice in a cocktail tin and stir.
Strain into cocktail glass.

William Whitfield

Vodka (I use a grain vodka)
Sweet Vemouth (any brand)
Canton (Domaine De Canton)
Whole lemon (for the fresh juice)

Instructions:
fill shaker with ice
add vodka (50%)
add Vermouth (40%)
cut lemon in half and squeeze into shaker (some pulp is okay)
add a splash of Canton(10%)
shake (about 30 shakes...)
pour into martini glass
garnish with lemon twist

Winner: Tom Brown
Score: 5-0
Game Summary: Whitfield's cocktail was too puckery, even for the deck or boat. Brown's was a classic cocktail with the right amount of absinthe and perfect peach note.

See the full tournament field

MB Cocktail Contest: Carie L. Fuller vs. Akio Katano

MB Cocktail Contest: Carie L. Fuller vs. Akio Katano

Carie L. Fuller

Ingredients:
1/2 oz. Absinthe (Vieux Pontarlier)
1 1/2 oz. Plymouth Dry Gin
3/4 oz. Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz. St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
Full dash of Orange Bitters
Flamed orange peel garnish

Instructions:
Rinse cocktail glass with 1/2 oz. Absinthe
Chill cocktail glass
Pour Gin, Sweet Vermouth, Liqueur, and full dash of orange bitters into mixing glass over ice.
Stir for 20 seconds.
Cut fresh disk of orange peel with fair amount of pith.
Julep strain mixing glass into cocktail glass.
Flame orange peel above cocktail to release delicious, fresh, orange oil mist. Place in glass as garnish.

Akio Katano

2 oz dry gin (Junipero if you've got it handy)
1 oz sweet vermouth (let's be serious - Carpano Antica)
1/2 oz Averna Amaro
1 dash orange bitters (Regan's preferred)
1 dash Peychaud's bitters
1 lemon zest for garnish

Instructions:
1. Combine the liquid ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice.
2. Stir for a good 20 seconds, until it's very cold.
3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
4. Squeeze the lemon zest over the drink and drop it in.

Winner: Carie L. Fuller
Score: 5-0
Game Summary: Katano's cocktail had strong hints of men's aftershave. It was the worst drink of the night. Meanwhile, Fuller's drink was rich and complex, and could be a contender.

See the full tournament field

MB Cocktail Contest: darin hanson vs. Todd Greeno

MB Cocktail Contest: darin hanson vs. Todd Greeno

darin hanson

Ingredients:
1 oz Lairds Applejack
3/4 oz Makers Mark
3/4 oz Domaine de Canton
3-4 dashes Fee Bros Whisky Barrel Bitters
1/2 Tsp Simple Syrup

Instructions:
Add ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.

Todd Greeno

3 oz Canadian Whiskey (i.e.: Crown Royal or Canadian Club)**
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz Dry Sack
1/2 oz Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry
4 dashes Angostura bitters

Instructions:
1. Combine all ingredients over ice in a shaker.
2. Cover & shake vigorously.
3. Strain into a chilled Martini Glass.
4. Garnish with an Orange peel curl.

** Variations: Substitute Scotch or Bourbon for the Canadian Whiskey.

Winner: darin hanson
Score: 3-2
Game Summary: A tough call between Greeno's flamethrower and Hanson's somewhat sweet mixture that would be a hit at a sushi bar. Hanson by a whisker.

See the full tournament field

MB Cocktail Contest: Xopher Hartman vs. Jeff Kuo

MB Cocktail Contest: Xopher Hartman vs. Jeff Kuo

Xopher Hartman

Ingredients:
1.5 oz bourbon (I used Jim Beam black label)
0.5 oz green Chartreuse
0.125 oz simple syrup
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
orange peel (garnish)

Instructions:
Shake all liquid ingredients with ice in a boston shaker, then drain into a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with orange peel.

Jeff Kuo

2 parts Cognac (Bache-Gabrielsen Hors d'Age if you can swing it)
1 part Green Chartreuse
1 part Elderflower (Thatcher's)

Instructions:
Stir ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve.

Winner: Xopher Hartman
Score: 5-0
Game Summary: We're not sure what happened to the photos for this matchup, but it was Hartman unanimously. It had a real warmth to it and the orange oil brought out the flavor. Kuo's cocktail was too heavy on the elderflower.

See the full tournament field

MB Cocktail Contest: Christopher Null vs. Jeremy Beals

MB Cocktail Contest: Christopher Null vs. Jeremy Beals

Christopher Null

Ingredients:
Laphroaig 10 Years Old Scotch whisky (for rinsing)
2 oz. anejo tequila
1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
splash of agave nectar

Instructions:
Rinse a cocktail glass with the Laphroaig and pour most of it out. Add remaining ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into the prepared glass. Don't bother with a garnish.

Jeremy Beals

Ingredients:
1/4 oz absinthe
3 oz Rhum Barbancourt 5 Star (8 year aged)
1 1/2 oz Domaine de Canton
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes Orange Bitters
Lemon twist

Instructions:
* Rinse a rocks glass with absinthe.
* Add remaining ingredients excepting lemon twist to a shaker full of ice and shake until cold.
* Strain into pre-rinsed glass and squeeze lemon twist over top. Rub lemon peel around the rim of the glass and drop into the drink.

Winner: Christopher Null
Score: 5-0
Game Summary: We found Beals' cocktail to be too heavy-handed, perfumey, and impossible to finish. It's like an old lady sat on your face and won't get off. Null's cocktail is a strong contender.

See the full tournament field

MB Cocktail Contest: Brian Lee vs. Bryan Swanson

MB Cocktail Contest: Brian Lee vs. Bryan Swanson

Brian Lee

Ingredients:
1 oz blended Scotch (I like Famous Grouse)
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz ruby Port
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz Benedictine
2 dashes orange bitters (I used Fee Bros. West Indian but Regan's would be just as good)

Instructions:
1) Mix all in a shaking tin.
2) Fill tin with ice.
3) Shake until your hands are numb.
4) Pour into a pre-chilled cocktail glass.
5) Garnish with a flamed orange peel (warm the peel with a flame to release the oils, rub it around the rim of the glass, then squeeze the peel so the oils spray through the flame and into the cocktail).

Bryan Swanson

Ingredients:
2 oz Bulleit bourbon
1 oz Berentzen Apfelkorn
1/8 oz Laphroaig 10-year scotch
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Instructions:
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir vigorously for 20-30 seconds. Strain into ice-filled rocks glass.

Winner: Bryan Swanson
Score: 4-1
Game Summary: Lee's cocktail was too one-note and tasted a little like a purple Sunny D. Swanson didn't win rather than Lee lost.

See the full tournament field

MB Cocktail Contest: Dave vs. Ben Allen

MB Cocktail Contest: Dave vs. Ben Allen

Dave

Ingredients:
1.5 oz Bourbon
0.5 oz Maple Syrup
0.5 oz Lemon Juice
Lemon Twist for Garnish

Instructions:
To make this cocktail, combine the bourbon, maple syrup and lemon juice in a shaker glass 2/3 full of ice and stir. Once the drink is appropriately chilled, which will take about 15 seconds, strain into a martini glass. Use a zester to make your lemon twist, aiming for a medium width and a slight curve on the twist. Enjoy.

Ben Allen

Ingredients:
2 oz rye whiskey (Rittenhouse bonded)
1/2 oz Cointreau liqueur
1/2 oz Jagermeister liqueur
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Instructions:
Stir all ingredients with cracked ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Twist lemon peel over glass and add as garnish.

Winner: Ben Allen
Score: 3-2
Game Summary: This was almost an overtime game. Dave's cocktail is lively on the tongue and lingers in a good way. We will be mixing this again, and fairly frequently in the depths of winter. Unfortunately it ran up against Ben Allen's highly drinkable Jagermeister juggernaut that kept us going back for more. The sophistication of a cocktail containing Jagermeister was the highlight and surprise of the evening.

See the full tournament field

MB Cocktail Contest: Sean Zimmer vs. rodmitch

MB Cocktail Contest: Sean Zimmer vs. rodmitch

Sean Zimmer

Ingredients:
2 parts Alberta Premium Rye Whiskey
2 parts Drambuie
1 part Cointreau
1.5 parts fresh lime juice

Instructions:
Stir with ice 10 times clockwise, 10 times counter-clockwise. Drain into chilled martini glass. Repeat until Bastardized.

rodmitch

Ingredients:
1 part each dark rum, tequila, sweet vermouth
1 squeeze of a lemon wedge
dash of bitters

Instructions:
pour over ice, shake, strain, and garnish with a lemon wedge

Winner: Sean Zimmer
Score: 5-0
Game Summary: rodmitch's cocktail was bitter and flat. Meanwhile, the Sean Zimmer concoction was awesome; a really nice balance between the sweet, the juice, and the base liquor. Who needs a garnish?

See the full tournament field

MB Cocktail Contest: Chris Stanley vs. Bob Schmitt

MB Cocktail Contest: Chris Stanley vs. Bob Schmitt

Chris Stanley

Ingredients:
1 oz. Bourbon (a quality bottling such as Bulleit, Eagle Rare, etc.)
1/2 oz. Fernet Branca
1/2 oz. Domaine de Canton liqueur
1/2 oz. fresh Lemon juice
1/4 oz. Petite Canne Sugarcane syrup (sub. 2 Tsp 1:1 Demerara/Raw sugar Simple)
Lemon twist

Instructions:
1. Combine liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with plenty of ice.
2. Shake well (~15 seconds).
3. Fine-strain, up into a chilled cocktail glass.
4. Garnish with the Lemon twist.

Bob Schmitt

Ingredients:
The key here is the quality/quantity of bourbon against the splash size of Roses and Cointreau. The bitters and cherry syrup are critical and cannot be left out. To dry it out, reduce quantity of vermouth.

In an Old Fashioned glass:

-2oz Bourbon, preferably Woodford's Reserve or Jim Beam Black.
-2 tbsp Dry Vermouth
-Splash Roses Lime Juice
-Splash Cointreau
-4 dashes, Angostura bitters
-1/4 tsp maraschino cherry syrup

Instructions:
Garnish with
-Orange peel, 3 inch curl
-Maraschino cherry

Winner: Bob Schmitt
Score: 5-0
Game Summary: The Canton turned out to be too perfumey and gingery. Would make an excellent oral anesthetic. Bob Schmitt's cocktail had great nose, and while the tongue wasn't quite equal, still enough to win unanimously.

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MB Cocktail Contest: Matt Konrad vs. Conrad

MB Cocktail Contest: Matt Konrad vs. Conrad

Matt Konrad

Ingredients:
2 oz Rhum Barbancourt
1/2 oz Gosling's Black Seal Rum
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters

Instructions:
Measure all ingredients into glass half of Boston shaker. Shake with ice. Strain into chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a redhead who can tie the stem with her tongue.

Conrad

Ingredients:
1 ounce of Simple Syrup
1 Egg White
Juice from a fist squeezed half of a lemon
2 oz of Bourbon
1 oz of Absinthe

Instructions:
Dry Shake (do not shake with ice) the ingredients and poor into a high-ball or a Pint glass filled with ice. Top off with ginger beer. Enjoy.

Winner: Matt Konrad
Score: 4-1
Game Summary: We were intrigued by Conrad's egg white drink but were overwhelmed by the ginger. Matt Konrad's cocktail was on the sweet and syrupy side yet had enough complexity to dominate the matchup.

See the full tournament field

MB Cocktail Contest: Phil Gomes vs. David McCabe

MB Cocktail Contest: Phil Gomes vs. David McCabe

Phil Gomes

Ingredients:
2.5 oz white premium cachaça
1 tangerine, peeled and sectioned
1/2 oz agave nectar
3 oz club soda

Instructions:
Muddle tangerine sections with peels. Add cachaça and agave nectar. Shake with ice. Strain. Add soda and stir.

David McCabe

Ingredients:
1.5 Oz Dry Gin
0.75 Oz St Germain Eldeflower Liqueur
0.50 Oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Lemon Twist for Garnish

Instructions:
This is a very simple cocktail, which gives it great mass appeal. Combine the gin, the St. Germain, and the lemon juice in a shaker. Fill with ice and shake. Now shake some more. And a bit more. When it's too cold to shake, just give it one or two more good shakes. Serve it up in a martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Winner: David McCabe
Score: 5-0
Game Summary: We're pretty sure cachaça has its place among the base liquors. Just not when used in this way. David McCabe's cocktail had a nice combination of the eldeflower and the lemon. It was harmonious and balanced and won unanimously.

See the full tournament field

MB Cocktail Contest: Chris Gerber vs. Matthew

MB Cocktail Contest: Chris Gerber vs. Matthew

Chris Gerber

Ingredients:
3 parts Plymouth Gin
1 part High Proof Vodka (such as Red or Blue Label Stolichnaya)
1 part Dry Vermouth

Instructions:
Shake in chilled shaker over cracked ice, or stir, and strain into chilled cocktail glass, topping glass off with:

Fever Tree Tonic Water (1/3 a bottle, or about 3 oz)

and garnishing with a perfect MB's choice Lemon Twist

Matthew

Ingredients:
2oz Plymouth Gin
1/4oz Creme de Violette
1 Clementine Orange
Tonic Water to Taste

Instructions:
1. Pour the Gin and Violette into a pint glass filled with ice. Stir to chill.
2. Strain drink into a rocks glass with ice and top with Tonic Water. I prefer just enough to get bubbles throughout the drink.
3. Peel the Clementine Orange over the glass to release oils. Rim the glass with some of the peel. Skewer one wedge and place in the drink as garnish.

Winner: Chris Gerber
Score: 4-1
Game Summary: Chris Gerber's updated G&T was a little bitter with a heavy quinine backnote, but it still easily beat Matthew's drink which was too much peeling, not enough appealing.

See the full tournament field

POURCAST

BETA

Vieux Carré

  • 1 oz rye whiskey
  • 1 oz cognac
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/4 oz Benedictine liqueur
  • 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Build all ingredients in an ice-filled rocks glass. Stir. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.


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