At the recent SF Chef’s food, wine and cocktail extravaganza, Skyy held a cocktail competition. The competition was held over 3 days and featured 6 top San Francisco bartenders. Each day featured spirit and secret ingredient, Iron Chef Style. The semifinals pitted 3 bartenders from a larger field of 15, the six would vie for a spot in the Finals. The finalists and winner would be picked by a panel of 3 judges. Cocktails would be judged on balance, presentation, use of the secret ingredient and other attributes.
Enjoy this day-by-day account.
Semifinal 1: Spirit – Whiskey, Secret Ingredient – Fresh Herbs
Drink 1 – Brandon Skaggs of Cortez – Irish Peach (Tullamore Dew, Cynar, peaches, sage, bitters, honey)
Drink 2 – Nick Varacalli of RN74 (Wild Turkey Rye, American honey, honey, canton, thyme) winner
Drink 3 – Joel Baker of Bourbon & Branch (Russels Rye, Luxardo, lemon juice, peaches, mint, Curaçao, bitters)
Semifinal 2: Spirit – Skyy Infusions, Secret Ingredient – Fresh Cherries, Apricots & Peaches
Cocktail 1 Carlo Splendorini of Gitane – (Skyy citrus, canton, ferlum, peach, orange, hot salt, Chartreuse, ferlum) The Bouquet winner
Cocktail 2 – Scott Baird of Romolo 15 (Skyy passion fruit & pineapple, ferlum, cherry and more)
Cocktail 3 – Borys Saciuk of Zapatistia – The Passionate One (Skyy pineapple & passion fruit, peaches, apriocot, cherry, allspice dram & more)
Finals: Spirit, anything from Gruppo Campari, Secret Ingredient – Peppers
Nick vs. Carlo
by Nick Varacalli of RN74
1.5 oz. Wild Turkey Rare Breed
0.5 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liquer
0.25 oz. Orange Curacao
0.25 oz. Velvet Falernum
0.75 oz. Lemon Juice
Dash of Orange Bitters
Muddled Red Pepper
Carlo Splendorini of Gitane Restaurant & Bar
1.5 oz. Cabo Wabo Reposado Tequila
1 oz. Malthilde Pear Liqueur
0.5 oz. Green Chartreuse Liqueur
1 tbsp. Honey
¾ oz. Lemon
And the winner is … Ambassador Pepper by Nick Varacalli of RN74!
Photos & recipes courtesy of Skyy Spirits.