Charleston Wine + Food has announced the five semi-finalists for their 2020 cocktail competition; the top five cocktails (and their spirit-free versions) will be available at the bartenders' respective bars/restaurants Wed. Oct. 16-Thurs. Oct. 31 for People's Choice voting. Once you give them a sip, you can vote for your favorite online
With support from Imbibe
magazine, Charleston Wine + Food highlights some of the best mixologists in town. Each year they choose a base spirit for the bar stars to create a tasty drink. This year's competitors were challenged with creating an original gin cocktail, alongside a mocktail recipe.
Results from People’s Choice voting will be factored into the scoring for the third and final round. On Wed. Nov. 6, each of the five semi-finalists will present their two original creations to a panel of judges — Penelope Bass of Imbibe, Vinson Petrillo of Zero Restaurant + Bar, and James Bolt of The Gin Joint — who will score the drinks on aroma, taste, imagination, overall impression, and People's Choice points. The winner will be decided and announced that same day.
The winning mixologist and their two drinks will be featured at Wine + Food Opening Night on Wed. March 4 as the fest's "signature cocktail." Here are the finalists:
Noah Singerman of Leon's Oyster Shop
Call Your Mother
: "Old Man and the Sea" made with Sipsmith gin, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, lime and grapefruit juice, grapefruit bitters, a salted rim, and grapefruit peel garnish.
"USS Tilman" made with grapefruit juice, lime juice, grapefruit oleo saccharum, and a dehydrated grapefruit wheel.
Michael Boiano of FIG
:"Call Your Mother" made with Hat Trick Gin, celery dill shrub, lemon juice, Dolin Génépy liqueur, Aquavit liqueur, and club soda.
"Katz's Grove," made with Seedlip Grove, a non-alcoholic, citrus spirit.
Green Vibes Only
Roderick Groetzinger of Wiki Wiki Sandbar
: "Green Vibes Only" made with Hendrick's, green Chartreuse, Lustau Amontillado Sherry, celery and lemon juice, and Giffard Orgeat.
: "Cucumber Rose Sparkling Limeade" made with fresh cucumber juice, rose water syrup, fresh lime juice, and soda water.
Nicole Fairman of FIG
: "Sip Du Soleil" made with Sipsmith London Gin, Cappelletti, turmeric syrup, acid phosphate, and a drop of orange blossom water.
Basically A Salad," is made with Seedlip Garden 108, an herbal, non-alcoholic spirit, carrot and lime juice, and topped with club soda.
Nolan Kennedy of The Cocktail Club
: "Macho Man Sandy Savage," is made with dandelion tea infused Hat Trick Gin, yellow Chartreuse, honey syrup, lemon juice, a dash of orange bitters, and a a garnish of expressed lemon peel.
"The Charleston Tea Party" is made with Dandelion Root Tea, fresh lemon juice, honey syrup, one drop of orange blossom water, and a garnish of lemon wheel and thyme sprig.