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Sra. Martinez's Robert Montero Wins Marie Brizard Cocktail Challenge

Six of Miami's best bartenders met at Blackbird Ordinary for a little friendly competition at the Marie Brizard Cocktail Challenge semi-finals. Robert Montero (Sra. Martinez), Fraser

Hamilton (Blackbird Ordinary), Mary Connoly (Meat Market & Bar Lab),

Phillip Khanderhrish (The Setai), Paul Sauter (Mercadito), and Nick Nisico (Soho Beach House) created specialty cocktails for the competition using Marie Brizard liqueurs in their recipes.

The competition was friendly but serious. Using USBG/IGA rules, each bartender had six minutes to complete three of the same cocktails.

Judge Ezra Pattek, vice President of the Miami USBG judged the technical aspects of the drink making, while master mixologist John Lehmeyer and myself judged each cocktail for appearance, aroma, and taste.

Each cocktail told a different story. Mary Connoly's Nuit Bleu was dry and refreshing, while Philip Khanderhrish's Tom & Marie was chocolaty and rich.

Robert Montero's Sunny Crusta
Robert Montero's Sunny Crusta
Courtesy The Gab Group

In the end, Robert Montero's Sunny Crusta took the evening's top

prize. The bright and cheery cocktail was a twist on the classic crusta,

and would make a perfect brunch alternative to the usual mimosas and

bloody Marys.

Fraser Hamilton took the runner-up spot for his Thanks for Kuming,

a cocktail that had a last-minute substitute of apricots for kumquats

after Hamilton couldn't find the fruit of choice at the market. Though the drink was successful even with the change, Thanks for Cotting doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

Montero won a trip to New Orleans to compete in the Marie Brizard Cocktail Challenge finals at Tales of the Cocktail in July.

Sra. Martinez's Robert Montero Wins Marie Brizard Cocktail Challenge
Laine Doss

Mary Connolly's Nuit Bleu was deceptively dry for a fruit-based cocktail.

Sra. Martinez's Robert Montero Wins Marie Brizard Cocktail Challenge
Courtesy The Gab Group

Winner Robert Montero (right) poses with runner up Fraser Hamilton.

Sra. Martinez's Robert Montero Wins Marie Brizard Cocktail Challenge

Philip Khanderish shakes up a cocktail.

Sra. Martinez's Robert Montero Wins Marie Brizard Cocktail Challenge
Laine Doss

The judging sheet.

Sra. Martinez's Robert Montero Wins Marie Brizard Cocktail Challenge

John Lehmeyer gets his nose into the judging, as Laine Doss scores the cocktail.

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