Sunday March 5th I traveled to Nashville, TN with bartender Alicia Orgel from Martini Italian Bistro to cheer her on with fellow bartender Colleen McCarthy as she competed in the Heaven Hill Brands Bartender of the Year regional semifinals contest. Alicia was one of eight chosen from the region out of hundreds!
The contest had two rounds-- the first was a presentation of an original cocktail or spin on a classic using Heaven Hill's featured brands: Domain de Canton, Elijah Craig, Rittenhouse Rye, and PAMA. Alicia made it to Round 2, which was "What'll you have?"-- the judges drew cards describing a cocktail they'd like to drink, and the bartenders had to come up with something on the fly using all four of the featured brands among three drinks. Alicia made it to the top 4!
Her cocktail was a spin on a whiskey sour called Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, and it featured a homemade lingonberry puree (lingonberries are also called foxberries, hence the cocktail's name), Rittenhouse Rye, Fee Brother's cranberry bitters, Domaine de Canton, lemon, and whites of one egg.