Yesterday's Botran Mixology Showdown at Miami Beach's Lure Fishbar proved to be an extreme battle between eight of Miami's most talented bartenders.
In the end, Lure Fishbar's Josue "Joshua" Gonzalez's Guatamalan Flip, a mashup between a Cuba Libre and a classic egg-white flip, won yesterday's competition, snagging the mixologist a visit to the rum distillery in Guatamala in the process. Lauren Sosnowsky of Earl's Kitchen & Bar in Kendall took second place (and a check for $2,500) for her unnamed tribute to Canada.
The intense competition, hosted by International Bartender of the Year Simone Caporale, started with eight contestants including Luna Bertolotti (Perfecto), Jamal Giles (Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill), Olaf Kohrsmeyer (TK's at The Villa Mayfair), Steve Rollins (660 at The Angler's), Mario Santisteban (The Metropolitan by Como), and Derek Stilman (Pubbelly), each charged with crafting a cocktail made with Botran Rum for a panel of judges that included Christine Najac (South Florida Food & Wine); Paula Echevarria (The Tasting Table); Bernard Waters (The Broken Shaker); Lazaro Carbajal (Botran Rum); and myself. Bartenders were scored on personality and drinks were awarded points for appearance, taste, aroma, and overall originality.
Perfecto's Luna Bertolotti shakes a Catalan peach creation.
Mario Santisteban's (Metropolitan by Como) advanced to another round for his mystery volcano, a spicy passion fruit cocktail topped with coconut foam.
Lure Fishbar's Josue Gonzalez grating nutmeg, the secret ingredient to be used in the final cocktail.
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Earl's Kitchen & Bar's Lauren Sosnowsky created cocktails themed around her Canadian home including a Harvest Moon, a pine cone-scented drink.
The two final cocktails side by side. In the end, Gonzalez' flip (right), a boozy take on a Coke float, won the title over Sosnowsky's unnamed cocktail of orange, rum, nutmeg, and chocolate bitters.