Dizzy Recap: Bärenjäger Throwdown

Grand-prize winner Kevin Diedrich, image courtesy of Guestofaguest.com

Grand-prize winner Kevin Diedrich, image courtesy of Guestofaguest.com

Perhaps you have already heard that congratulations are in order to Kevin Diedrich of Clover Club for taking the grand prize at the first-ever Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur New York bärtending competition held earlier this week. His winning drink, “The Bottom Line,” featured Bärenjäger with Highland Park 18, Manzilla Sherry, Cio Ciaro, orange bitters, and Angostura bitters. NoHo special-events-only speakeasy Woodson & Ford (643 Broadway) was host to the throwdown, where the vintage parlor decor was upstaged by a life-sized taxidermied black bear. The prop was in reference to the honey liqueur’s heritage as a 15th century aid for hunters to lure bears from their dwellings. Made in Germany, the 70 proof vodka-based honey liqueur is made with honey sourced from the Mexican province of Yucatan.

Six New York bartenders competed in two rounds–first up was Neil Grosscup of Country Club, Meaghan Dorman of Raines Law Room, and Kevin. Neil offered “The Limburg,” with Bärenjäger, Bols Genever, pressed apple juice, mint, and lemon juice, while Meaghan mixed the honey liqueur with Pimm’s No. 1, Rittenhouse Rye, Angostura bitters, and lemon juice for the “Five in the Hive.” The second round included Jonathan Pogash of Hospitality Holdings, Bradley Farran of Clover Club, and the people’s choice winner, Gerry Corcoran of PDT. Jonathan made “The Bee Sting” with Bärenjäger, Laphroaig, Fernet-Branca, egg white, tangerine juice, and Peychaud’s bitters; Bradley mixed the honey liqueur with tequila reposado, lemon juice, Cynar, and crème de cacao for “El Oso Agridulce;” and Gerry whipped up the “Bäre Fizz” with Bärenjäger, Famous Grouse scotch, fig preserves, lemon juice, and egg white, topped with Toasted Lager beer.

The judges for the event certainly knew what they were doing:  mixologist and spirits aficionado Allen Katz of Southern Wine & Spirits; mixology icon Gary Regan of ArdentSpirits.com; cocktail maven Julie Reiner of Clover Club and Flatiron Lounge; one of the foremost spirits trade writers, Jack Robertiello; and Aisha Sharpe of Contemporary Cocktails, Inc. Judges based scores on taste, appearance, creativity, and overall delivery.

Kevin, whose drink the judges said was “an instant classic,” won an all-expense trip paid for two to Oktoberfest 2009 in Munich, Germany. Kevin’s previous bartending experience includes Bourbon and Branch, Michael Mina’s Clock Bar, CASK, Beverage Academy, The Ritz Carleton and Bourbon Steak. Gerry received tickets to the Yankees.
 
” The Bottom Line” by Kevin Diedrich:

¾ parts Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur
1 ½ parts Highland Park 18
1 part Manzanilla Sherry
¼ parts Cio Ciaro
1 dash orange bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
 
Add all ingredients to mixing glass, ice and stir strain into chilled cocktail glass. 
 
“Bäre Fizz” by Gerry Corcoran:

.5 parts Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur
2 parts Famous Grouse Scotch
1 part fresh lemon juice
2-3 parts Toasted Lager beer
1 egg white
1 barspoon fig preserves
1 slice of fig for garnish

Dry shake all the ingredients except the lager, add ice, and shake again. Double strain into a chilled highball glass, top with the toasted lager beer and garnish with a slice of fig.

Bradley Farran of Clover Club

Bradley Farran of Clover Club

Judges Allen Katz, Aisha Sharpe, and Julie Reiner

Judges Allen Katz, Aisha Sharpe, and Julie Reiner

People's choice winner Gerry Corcoran of PDT

People's choice winner Gerry Corcoran of PDT

Stirreth, Shaketh, Bring it!

barenjager

Hear ye, hear ye! All mixologists of experience long and short are being asked to submit recipes for their most palate-tingling concoctions for several competitions happening this month, some with deadlines fast approaching. The question is, do you have the skills to pay the bills?

  • We Shoot Cocktails’ Cocktail & Tweet contest: mixologists, brand ambassadors, and spirit consultants are invited to follow cocktail photographers We Shoot Cocktails on Twitter, tweet about the contest, and submit a recipe. The winning cocktail will be chosen at random to be professionally photographed. Deadline: Aug. 17.
  • Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur is holding its first-ever cocktail throwdown at an undisclosed location in NoHo on Sept. 15. To get there, you must be one of five New York bartender/mixologists whose recipe containing Bärenjäger is invited to compete in the final round. Bärenjäger, a sweet honey liqueur from the 15th century, is made in Germany with honey sourced from the Mexican province of Yucatan. The judges who will decide the final five are author/guru Gary Regan, Allen Katz of Southern Wine & Spirits, Julie Reiner of Clover Club, and spirits writer Jack Robertiello. The grand prize winner will receive an all-expense paid trip for two to Oktoberfest 2009 in Munich, Germany. Recipes can be submitted through Bärenjäger’s website. Deadline: Aug. 25.
  • The Ultimate Cocktail for a Cure competition is inviting both amateur drink-makers and professionals in the bar industry to submit recipes containing SENCE rose nectar and at least one other sponsored ingredient. No more than seven ingredients may be used, including spirits. Judges include U.S. Bartender’s Guild National Ambassador Tony Abou-Ganim, Tobin Ellis of BarMagic Las Vegas, and Steve Olson of Aka Wine Geek and B.A.R. Entries can be submitted through the competition website. The finals are going to be held in Las Vegas on Oct. 26 at Springs Preserve. Deadline: Aug. 31.