This past week I was invited to the U.S. Cocktail Challenge hosted by The House of Angostura. It was a face off between East Coast bartenders all vying for a spot in the finals at the fabulous Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and ultimately a trip to Trinidad for the Global Cocktail Challenge finale.
The rules were simple...create two cocktails under six ingredients the first using 5 dashes of Angostura Bitters and the 2nd using Angostura Rum. Maggie Arts the bartender/manager from Salt of the Earth, Butcher & The Rye and the brand new Tako out in Pittsburgh was the first to compete with her cocktail the Hummingbird's Garden.
Spencer Warren (Beverage Director from Butcher & the Rye) was up next with his cocktail Rum for the Money followed by Megan Arts from Marvel Bar in Minnesota with the CocoTea and finally Aaron Butler from West Village favorite L'Artusi with his drink the Julia's Conundrum. And the winner is...
...Aaron!! I have to say I was thrilled with the outcome. Not only was it fantastic to see a local guy win the competition but I truly loved his drink the most for it's perfect balance of Pisco and Angostura Bitters (and that he said Pisco was the most underrated spirit- AGREED!).
Honestly we were all winners since we got to enjoy the wonderful cocktails created along with some great food and drink from Seamstress like this Deviled Egg with Mezcla pickled pepper. Here's the recipe for Aaron's winning drink so you can try it at home- Cheers!
House of Angostura
339 East 75th Street between 1st & 2nd
New York, NY 10021