Are you a cocktail-crafter from Florida with a penchant for storytelling? If so, Miami-based J.F. Haden's Craft Liqueurs hopes you'll submit your tastiest tropical recipe using the company's Florida-inspired spirits for its first-ever "Show Your Flavor" cocktail competition.
Registration for the event is now open for applicants from around the state who use at least one of the company’s liqueurs to craft their own signature cocktail. Submissions are due before midnight on October 6.
Located in Allapattah at Tropical Distillers, J.F. Haden's Craft Liqueurs offers flavors meant to represent the Sunshine State. The company launched in 2019 with its mango liqueur and has since expanded with citrus, espresso, lychee, and key lime pie iterations.
"We gave the name of the company Haden's because the Haden mango is considered the first mango variety to have been planted in Miami in 1910," explains Mike Marchant, J.F. Haden's director of marketing.
J.F. Haden likes a good backstory, so each flavor has special significance, says Marchant. For instance, the espresso flavor honors Miami's ubiquitous cafecito, and Florida is apparently the second-largest producer of lychees after Asia. And the brand's key lime pie liqueur — an homage to South Florida's favorite dessert — is considered the first-ever plant-based liqueur to be made with rice milk.
"With all these Florida-inspired flavors, the idea was to give Florida's bartenders and at-home mixologists the opportunity to compete and have a chance to win not only a nice cash prize, but also a trip to the distillery, all expenses paid," Marchant says.
For the competition, J.F. Haden will host two finalists in Miami for the Show Your Flavor competition to be held on October 16 in honor of national liqueur day. The first-place winner will receive a $2,000 cash prize and J.F. Haden swag, and second place will get a $1,000 cash prize.
As submissions roll in, J.F. Haden's in-house mixologist Amanda Perez will whip up each drink recipe for both staff and judges, whittling the competitors down to the two best recipes.
"That's going to be the fun part of the competition for us," says Marchant. "They're really looking for creativity and storytelling here, so think outside the box. We want to make sure the cocktails have creativity behind it, great taste and mouth-feel, a good balance and presentation."
The judges include co-founders and NFL All-Pros Mike and Maurkice Pouncey, Tropical Distillers' master distiller Jason Ericson, Perez, and several surprise guests. Following the competition, Tropical Distillers will add the winning cocktail to its tasting room bar menu and share the recipes with J.F. Haden's fans.
The Show Your Flavor event is open to the public and will take place at the Tropical Distillers facility in Allapattah. In addition to the liqueurs, Tropical Distillers also makes its own whiskey, gin, and rum as well as an agave-based spirit. The distillery offers tours and tasting experiences on weekends highlighting cocktails prepared with its Miami-made spirits, which include a key lime margarita, an espresso martini, lychee martini, and Miami fruit punch made with J.F. Haden's citrus liquor. The venue also has a retail store.
Show Your Flavor Cocktail Competition. Monday, October 16, at Tropical Distillers, 2141 NW Tenth Ave., Miami; tropicaldistillers.com. Registration for the cocktail competition is open with a deadline of 11:59 p.m. on October 6. To apply visit tropicaldistillers.com/pages/show-your-flavor.