I’m About to Get My Ass Kicked at the Tales of the Cocktail Drink Competition

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I received this in my inbox last week:

TO: All Participants

WHAT: Tales of the Cocktail, the annual culinary and cocktail festival, features a Cocktail Competition to determine the “official cocktail” of the event. Bartenders local and nation-wide submitted recipes for the competition.

Moët & Chandon White Star Champagne was a required ingredient for the official cocktail. The official cocktail will be featured and served throughout the Tales of the Cocktail event, July 18-22, and on the website. Winners will receive cash prizes and be featured in Culinary Concierge Magazine and the book “101 Champagne Cocktails”

WHEN: Tuesday, April 17th, 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: Hotel Monteleone, Riverview Room (rooftop), 214 Royal Street , New Orleans

So what, right? Well, I mention this because it signals the fact that I have finally entered my first cocktail competition. I guess I got so inspired watching my friends compete in Vegas that I felt I was finally ready to throw my hat into a bigger ring than the Sexiest Bartender in Eugene, Oregon competition.

So I entered. And it was tougher than I thought it would be. First off, we were required to use Moët & Chandon White Star Champagne. Fine, I thought, even though I didn’t have a lot of experience making Champage-based cocktails. I can throw something together, right?

You also have to pick an ingredient from Column ‘A’, the rules stated. Okay. What else?

We’d really like it if you picked an ingredient from Column ‘B’ as well. Yikes. Alright. I can still do this. What’s next?

You only get to use five ingredients total. You mean, I have to use one of those, one of those, and one of those, and I only get to pick two of my own?


So I packed up my shaker and headed down to El Vaquero the next morning to try out some recipes. What I came up with seemed pretty good to everyone I had try it, and I was pretty pleased with myself. I sent my recipe off, sat back, and waited for my big check in the mail.

Then I got the email. And my heart sank. CC’d alongside my name were the other contestants. I’m going up against some of the best bartenders in the country tomorrow. People like:

Needless to say, kids, that’s a really burly lineup. So please, do a me a favor and keep your fingers crossed for me tomorrow, and just pray that I don’t come in dead last.

I’ll print my recipe when the dust settles. Thank you.

9 Replies to “I’m About to Get My Ass Kicked at the Tales of the Cocktail Drink Competition”

  • Jeffrey says:

    We all lost, guys! Take a look at the next post to see my outstanding (losing) recipe!

  • Sean Bigley says:

    Well, I got the email from Tales of the Cocktail announcing the winning drink. I was amazed to find out that muddled fruit was no longer considered an ingredient in a cocktail. Congratulations to the winner who along with two of the other three finishers was from…..Surprise!….New Orleans!

    It seems that the judges were in a pomegranate frame of mind.

    Ok Jeff. Let’s see that recipe in print now! Show me yours and I’ll show you mine.


  • Dr, Bamboo says:

    Good luck Jeffrey! I ALWAYS root for the underdog, and since you’ve positioned yourself as such, I’m firmly in your corner.

    Now come out swingin’!

  • Jeffrey says:

    Jimmy and Sean, how did you not get emails? I assume you followed the rules to a “T”? Maybe it’s worth dropping a line to the people who are in the know…

  • Jeffrey says:

    I’m such an idiot, I always miss Mixology Monday. This might have to do with Sunday being my day off, so I rarely even think about looking at the computer.

    Am I allowed to back-date a post?

  • Anita says:

    Oh man, we should have postponed Mixology Monday XIV (theme: Champagne Cocktails) until next week to allow you guys to participate with your entries. Maybe we need to do an addendum…

  • Jimmy says:

    I guess I got dis-qualified, because I didn’t receive anything in my inbox last week! So at least you beat me!

  • Jeffrey says:

    Thanks, Sean! I guess we’ll find out how we did soon enough, huh? At any rate, it’s going to be great to catch up with you again at the conference in July. I can’t wait!

    Best of luck to all of us…

  • Sean Bigley says:

    Hi Jeffrey. I just wanted to be the first on the list to wish you good luck in the competition. Believe me, everyone needs a little luck to win these things. You just never know what the judges are looking for. I’ve entered many competitions, won a few and lost a whole lot more. As long as you know that you made a great cocktail and put your heart into it, it doesn’t matter who wins. I’m sure your cocktail is great and I look forward to checking out the recipe.
    By the way, when did you get that e-mail? I never received one. Maybe I didn’t make the cut this time. Oh well.
    Again, best of luck to you, my friend.


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