Thursday, September 30, 2010

Barfly's Beat: Barenjager Competition at Macao Trading Company

Last week, I attended the Bärenjäger national bärtending competition at Macao Trading Co. in New York's Tribeca section. Participants were asked to create an inventive cocktail using the honey liqueur. Almost 200 entries from all over the country were received but only six chosen for the finale. First, the contestants mixed their cocktails for the invitation only crowd. Once the thirsty mob was well tippled, the they had the nerve wracking job of presenting to the judges.

Judging the competition were an all-star line up of spirits experts including Allen Katz of Southern Wine & Spirits, Gaz Regan of, Dushan Zaric of Macao Trading Co./Employees Only, Tad Carducci of the Tippling Bros and tequila-phile Phil Ward owner of Mayahuel.

The Prizes:
1st place - an all-expense trip paid for two to Oktoberfest 2010 in Munich, Germany and $1,000 spending cash. Judges based scores on taste, appearance, creativity and overall delivery.

The Crowd enjoying Barenjager at Macao (photo by Josh Wong)
The Winning cocktailian was Brendan Dorr of Baltimore, MD, who mixed the El Oso (Bärenjäger, anejo tequila, maraschino liqueur, Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas "Own Decanter" bitters). Considering the judges - nice strategy using tequila Mr. Dorr!

Crowd Favorite went to Bryan Schneider of Brooklyn's Clover Club, his drink was the The Careless Bear (Bärenjäger, Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Fresh Lemon Juice, Fresh Pineapple Juice, egg white, Underberg Bitters, Fee Brothers Old Fashion Bitter. This was my favorite as well, superb and well balanced.

I also submitted a recipe which is a damn good cocktail, simple, and refreshing.

Fredo's Submission

Luna di Miele ("Honeymoon" in Italian)

3/4 oz Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur
1/2 oz Liquore Galliano Authentico
1 1/2 oz Milagro Reposado Tequila 
1 egg white
3/4 oz lemon juice
1 dash of Bitter Truth Xocolatl Mole Bitters

The Luna di Miele (Honeymoon in Italian) is a cocktail that marries the complex anise vanilla flavor of Galliano with the smokiness of reposado tequila and sweetness of Barejager honey.

Dry shake all ingredients, then add ice and shake rigorously. Strain into  chilled coupe and garnish with a star anise.

Full picture recap at Guest of a Guest

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