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
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.
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
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.
Mary Connolly's Nuit Bleu was deceptively dry for a fruit-based cocktail.
Winner Robert Montero (right) poses with runner up Fraser Hamilton.
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Philip Khanderish shakes up a cocktail.
The judging sheet.
John Lehmeyer gets his nose into the judging, as Laine Doss scores the cocktail.