2017 Battle of the Bartenders Winning Cocktails

BY: Lisa Seibert
last updated 02/23/2017
2017 Battle of the Bartenders Winning Cocktails

The Miami Valley Restaurant Association's Buckeye Vodka Battle of the Bartenders puts talented mixologists from several local restaurants to the test.

2017 Battle of the Bartenders Winning Cocktails

2017 winning cocktailsThe Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s 4th Annual Buckeye Vodka Battle of the Bartenders brought forth an interesting array of tastes and styles again this year. The challenge pits talented mixologists from several local restaurants in a battle to create the winning cocktail using Buckeye Vodka as the primary liquor. The title of “Best Bartender” is highly sought after and the contestants are as creative in choosing names as they are with formulas.

As a guest, I never manage to make it all the way around, but judging requires tasting all of them with an open mind, adventurous spirit, and occasionally a high tolerance for spicy hot. And 5 other judges with sophisticated palates and years of "judging" experience.

Having only judged this event twice, I have to believe that the weather leading up to the event has a definite influence on the competition. More than 20 days of below zero temperatures in February 2015 resulted in many “comfort” drinks, several including chocolate and peanut butter flavors in a nod to much loved Buckeye candies.  Well above normal temperatures this year resulted in light, citrusy, tart and sweet concoctions in anticipation of summer. Not a hint of Kahlúa or coffee, though “Frothy the Snowman” made an appearance. 

2017’s winners are:

  1. El Meson: Bill Castro - Tamiami Miami - Buckeye Vodka, Guava Nectar, Fresh Lime Juice, Fire Water Bitters, garnished with Candied Guave Lime
  2. Coco's: Nikolaus Hunt - Buckeye On The Beach - Pineapple Infused Buckeye Vodka, Cream of Coconut, Pernod,  Pineapple Juice
  3. Ele' Cake Co. Bistro & Wine Bar - Beet Around The Bush - Beet Infused Buckeye Vodka, Dry Vermouth, Simple Syrup, Ginger ale, Lemon Twist

People's Choice went to  Carvers: Travis and Josh for The King

Past winners: 
2016 Nikolaus Hunt of Coco’s Bistro “Coco’s Ruby Slipper”
2015 Amber Brady of Lily’s Bistro “Rosemary’s Babee” 
2014 Dustin Wade of Meadowlark “The Root of All Evil”

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