I had the pleasure of being on the judging panel for last night's Park City Cocktail Contest, held at Cicero's. We came. We drank. We voted. And, when all the liquor, mixes and garnishes were put away, we had a winner! ---
Before I tell you about that, however, I'd just like to mention how impressed I was by ALL of the cocktails in their originality, presentation and flavor (the three main judging categories). Eleven of Park City's bars and restaurants were represented at the Cocktail Contest -- which was a benefit for the non-profit People's Health Clinic of Park City -- and there wasn't one of the 11 cocktails that I wouldn't happily drink again.
But, when all the votes were tallied, the winner was a drink called Flower & Pine, from Deer Valley Grocery & Cafe. The cocktail was created by Deer Valley's Bonnie Ulmer (a previous PC Cocktail Contest winner) and September Bickmore. The ingredients were: 1 1/2 oz. Beefeater Gin, 1/2 oz. St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur, 1/2 oz. Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur, 2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters, 1 lemon wedge, served in a martini glass.
Deer Valley Grocery & Cafe just barely beat out The Farm, with their very unique (and cleverly named) cocktail called the Phat Beetz, which incorporated sous-vide spiced-beet puree. I never dreamed I'd enjoy a cocktail with beets in it, but this one was delicious.
My personal favorite drink of the evening was the Lemon Merengue, an admittedly foo-foo drink prepared by bartender Leah Jackson of Cena Ristorante & Lounge in Deer Valley. It incorporated Pinnacle Whipped Vodka, Limoncello, simple syrup, graham cracker-dusted rim, lemon and torched marshmallow.
Congratulations to Deer Valley Grocery & Cafe and to all the creative and talented mixologists who made the Park City Cocktail Contest so much fun.