This year’s (614) Holiday Cocktail Competition presented by Campari was bigger than ever. The Gallerie Bar and Bistro played host to 24 bars from around the city, and beyond the outer belt. 200 people attended the event ready to experience the results of bartenders at their best and most creative.
In the end, Mouton took home the first place prize with their Sweet Potato Famine cocktail. A combination of flash infused rosemary Appleton Estate rum, cold pressed sweet potato juice, Campari, maple and lime. Logan Demmy and Colin Northrup were the minds behind the drink, and behind the assorted blowtorches, nitrogen canisters, and a power drill swizzle stick, used to create it. Before you even got a sip of the drink, standing in front of their table was a show in and of itself. But the tools and techniques weren’t just for show, the drink was executed perfectly, and stood on its own, although lighting the rosemary on fire was a fun touch.
David Veich of Powell’s Kraft House No. 5 took home second place with his drink “One Last Smoke, The Saga of the Restless,” a riff on an Old Fashioned employing a hefty amount of, you guessed it, smoke. Third place went to Todd Adam of Hyde Park, who mixed up a Manhattan variation with a black walnut theme called “Walnuts Roasting On An Open Fire.” The winning drinks were chosen by judges Lindsay Laubenstein of the Southern Ohio Bartender’s Guild, and Andrea Hoover and Brian Hinshaw of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants.
They weren’t the only ones with the task of picking a winner that night. Everyone in attendance got to cast a vote for the People’s Choice award, which was given to Ben Griest of Bernard’s Tavern for his minty white chocolate creation entitled “Christmas In Jamaica.” Cheers to all the participants, and everyone who attended.