House of Angostura’s cocktail competition at Lost Lake took place the first week of July, a competition to determine who advances to the U.S. finals in New Orleans at Tales of the Cocktail. Each bartender had seven minutes to make two servings each of two cocktails: one a freestyle category, where the only requirement was that the recipe included at least five dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters, and a second one that had to include Angostura rum as well as at least five dashes of the bitters. The participants had all submitted recipes using Angostura bitters to the contest and been chosen as finalists by a panel of judges; they came up with the rum cocktails after being selected. They were judged not only on the taste, appearance, and aroma of the cocktail, but also on the presentation.
One of our bartenders, Elizabeth Michiewicz, competed in this cocktail showdown. She told Chicago Reader
Both drinks I made are what I’d want to drink lying on a beach in Trinidad. It’s summer, and if I won, I was going to be making drinks in the middle of July in New Orleans. Light and refreshing was the only thing on my mind.
Trinidad Cobbler (Elizabeth Mickewicz)
1.5 oz Lustau amontillado sherry
.5 oz Angostura 7-year rum
.75 oz pineapple-cinnamon demerara
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
.25 oz Angostura aromatic bitters
4 orange wedges
Garnish: grated cinnamon, large mint sprig, orange wheel, pineapple leaves
Chicago newcomer Elizabeth won the competition in New Orleans, which means she’ll go to Trinidad next year to represent the U.S. at Angostura’s Global Cocktail Challenge! One of the cocktails Mickiewicz mixed at Lost Lake, the Trinidad Cobbler, stayed the same for the competition in New Orleans. For the other cocktail, she represented Chicago with Letherbee’s Vernal Gin with a cocktail titled “The Lost Days”.
The Lost Days
2 ounces Letherbee Vernal Gin (2015)
1 ounce Lillet Blanc
3 dashes Angostura orange bitters
2 drops saline solution
1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters
Garnish: orange peel (discarded) and dehydrated pineapple flowers
And what does she love most about working at Drumbar?
They do craft cocktails but at high volume, and that was a challenge that appealed to me,” she says. “Being a craft bartender, you sacrifice making money to make good cocktails.” But in a high-volume craft cocktail bar, bartenders can do both.
Congratulations Elizabeth! She went home with a cash prize of $5,000, and a free trip to Trinidad to compete in the Global House of Angostura Challenge in 2016 where she will be representing the US (and Drumbar).
Article sourced from Chicago Reader