Recipes from the 2013 4th annual Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience

Kelly Choi master of ceremonies @kellychoi

Judges:

Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience Judges:  Chris Morris,

 

This year’s Manhattan Experience featured cocktails:

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Contest recipes in order of presentation:

Twitter hash tag #WoodfordNYC will get your posts with additional photos of drinks and the event.

Washington D.C.’s Charles Tappan presents his cocktail “The Lineage” : 2oz Woodford Reserve bourbon, 1oz Lillet Rose, 2 dashes bitters, 1 1/2 smoked honey ice cubes. Smoked honey ice cubes: boil 2 cups water w/ 1 cup honey. Add 1 1/2 oz. Lapsang Souchong tea. Let cool and freeze in ice cube tray.

Up next is Travis Fourmont’s “Midnight Manhattan” : 2oz Woodford Reserve bourbon, 1/2oz Italian Amaro, 1/4oz each cherry liqueur & bitter orange liqueur, 4 dashes orange bitters.

Marc Yanga with “The Jerry Thomas Experiment” : 2oz Woodford Reserve bourbon, 1oz Carpano Antica, 1/4oz orange curaçao, 3 dashes orange bitters

Kyle Grosz with “The Big Horse” Manhattan : 2oz Woodford Reserve bourbon, 3/4oz Cocchi Barolo Chinato, 1/2oz Original Combier, 2 dashes bitters.

Garron Gore shows off his “East of Hudson” Manhattan for the judges : 2oz Woodford Reserve bourbon, 1/2oz Carpano Antica, 1/2oz Punt e Mes, 2 dashes bitters.

Last but not least, here’s Christopher Ryan James making his “Far East Manhattan” : 2oz Woodford Reserve bourbon, 1oz sesame seed infused vermouth, 2 dashes bitters.

More detailed recipe instructions and photos of each drink and mixologist can be found on Bourbon Blog.

The 2013 4th annual Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience Winner is…

Garron Gore wins audience favorite with his East of Hudson!
Congrats Garron!

And the big prize goes to… Travis Fourmont’s “Midnight Manhattan.”
Congratulations Travis!

Woodford Reserve cocktails from NYC for the 3rd annual Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience 2012

In honor of tonight’s 4th Annual Woodford Reserve Manhattan Contest I’m going to post the recipes from the 2012 contest. If you would like to follow along with this year’s contest, starting at 7:30pm EST January 7th 2013, follow Woodford Reserve’s Twitter feed at: twitter.com/woodfordreserve

There was a full house at the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience in NYC 2012. 79d077189c66dc6184b9262e4cedf474 1a9dc7731036a072cf028490f6c60678

The bartenders scurry to prepare garnishes for the competition.

 

Recipes are in order of the competition:

First up is Rob Turek’s Buffalo Plains Manhattan: 1.5 oz buffalo bacon fat washed WR, 3/4 oz black peppercorn infused vermouth, 1/4 oz elderflower liqueur, 1 dash chocolate bitters.

Now up is Karla Ramsey from Louisville, KY with the Ramsey’s Manhattan: 2 oz WR, 1 oz apple brandy, 1 oz sweet vermouth, 2 splashes bitters

Curtis Parker from Indy makes the Downtown Manhattan while we sip on a WR Bourbon Ball manhattan. pic.twitter.com/fUDFjJlH Downtown Manhattan: 2 1/2 oz WR, 1/4 oz cherry syrup, 1 orange rind, 2 coffee beans, 2 vanilla beans

From Philly comes Colin Shearn’s Radiation Blues Manhattan: 2 oz WR, 1/2 oz orange curaçao, 1/2 oz Italian bitters, 3 dashes bitters

Seattle’s own Brien Hendershott makes a Vintage Manhattan: 2 oz WR, 1/2 oz sweet vermouth, 1/2 oz port vinegar reduction, 3 dashes bitters

NYC’s Joann Spiegel’s “Leaving Manhattan”: 2 oz WR, 1/2 oz Italian vermouth, 1/4 oz dark creme de cacao, 1/4 oz black tea

Joe Raya from Charleston presents his Connecticut Shade Manhattan: 2 oz tabasco infused WR, 1 oz vermouth, 1 dash homemade Tabasco bitters

Last years winner, Nick Nistico from Miami, creates Mr. October: 2 1/2 oz WR, 1 oz mandarin liqueur, 1 oz ginger syrup, 1/2 oz sweet vermouth, 2 dashes bitters, 2 dashes orange bitters

Now up is John Miller’s “The Big Apple” from Annapolis: 2 oz Maple infused WR, 1 oz cinnamon infused vermouth, 2 dashes baked apple bitters

From the nation’s capital comes Erik Thompson with his Blackened Cherry Manhattan : 2 oz WR, 1 oz sweet vermouth, 5 sprays cherry bitters

From Scottsdale, AZ comes Matt McCullough’s “The Big Orange”: 2 oz WR, 1/2 oz Tuaca, 1/2 oz orange liqueur, 1/4 oz Madeira

Up now – Michael Cerretani’s “Woodford Dey Manhattan” from Denver: 2 oz WR, 1/4 oz bitters, 1/4 oz vermouth, 1/4 oz yellow chartreuse build

Chicago’s own Jonny Abens concocts his “Chicago Sunday”: 2 oz WR, 1/4 oz maple syrup, 4 dashes peach bitters, 1/4 oz lemon juice

And now for Sin City’s Jessica Fesler with “The Mayan 212″: 2 oz WR, 1 oz Licor 43, 2 dashes bitters infused w/ red chili pepper.

Last 2 bartenders… Now up is James Potter from ATL with “The Absinthe Minded Professor”: 2 oz WR, 3/4 Chai-infused swt vermouth and 1/4 oz orange liqueur

Last but not least is Christopher Asay from Asbury Park, NJ with “The Hothead Manhattan” : in heat resistant container Ignite 3 oz WR with 1 1/2 oz jalapeño infused ginger syrup and 3/4 set vermouth. Also add 3/4 oz high proof rum and 4 dashes bitters and ignite in 2nd heat resistant container add 3 oz boiling water. Pass solution back and forth w/ ignited water. After a few passes snuff the flame and pour!

 

The 2012 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Contest Winner:

Joann Spiegel’s “Leaving Manhattan”: ” 2 oz WR, 1/2 oz vermouth, 1/4 oz creme de cacao, 1/4 oz Lapsang tea syrup, 2 dashes orange bitters

 

 

First Look: Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged Spiced Cherry Bitters

A new offering – impressively nothing like the other three.

The new official Woodford Reserve product from Matt Jamie’s Bourbon Barrel Foods.

This one has been under development for quite a while. Matt Jamie worked directly with WR’s Master Distiller Chris Morris to craft a bitters especially suited for bourbon-based cocktails. Continue reading

Woodford Reserve’s Manhattan Competition – Kentucky Region

Yesterday I had the privilege of judging the first round of the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience in Lexington, KY held at Paulie’s Toasted Barrel. Over 30 Kentucky mixologists entered the competition.

My fellow judges were Adam Hayes (Brown-Forman Whiskey Brand Champion), Seth Thompson and Justin Thompson (both of The Bourbon Review magazine).

The competition was divided into two rounds. Each of the judges met with 7 to 8 of the mixologists individually and sampled their creations. Each judge then picked one winner to move on to round two. During round two, each of the four finalists made their cocktail for all four judges. So we all tasted each of the four finalists and discussed to pick the ultimate winner.

It was interesting to me that the four of us judging initially dismissed cocktails that were either (a) not really manhattans or (b) didn’t allow the flavor of the underlying spirit to come through. For (a), we all talked about it to make sure we were in line on where the line was between a manhattan and a bourbon cocktail in general. But (b), on the other hand, was completely reflexive. It wasn’t until I reviewed the process that I realized how important it was that the cocktail additions (mixers) showcase the spirit used and not cover it up. This is one of the fundamental principles of the moden craft cocktail. Oh, and it can’t be too sweet. Cloying cocktails upset me. ;-)

Here’s a sampling of my favorites: Continue reading

The Woodford Reserve Advanced Flavor Wheel

Yesterday we held our first Advanced Flavor Wheel tasting. This builds on the basic Flavor Wheel tasting developed by Ouita Michel. In the basic tasting participants taste six items – parmesan, toasted nut, dried berry, fresh orange, dark chocolate and sorghum – against Woodford Reserve neat. This type of culinary-aid tasting allows the participants to taste many of the subtle and nuanced flavors in the bourbon that they might not otherwise be able to detect.

For the Advanced Flavor Wheel, participants had an assortment of over 30 different food items to taste against. These ranged from single ingredients – like apple slices, mint springs and country ham – to freshly made syrups and scratch-made rye crackers.

We also served our signature sorghum mint julep cocktail.

This level of tasting allows a very rich palate experience. It’s something very unique and I recommend it to anyone who gets the opportunity.

Fresh Fruits, Vegetables and Cheeses

Fresh Fruits, Vegetables and Cheeses

Corn muffins, bourbon beer bread, rye bread, toasted pecans, country ham and, of course, bacon

Corn muffins, bourbon beer bread, rye bread, toasted pecans, country ham and, of course, bacon

 

Fresh syrups

Fresh syrups

Prep for Culinary Cocktail Class –
Fall Flavors

Tim prepping for the next day’s “Art of Culinary Cocktails – Flavors of Fall” class.
Mmm bourbon caramel dipped apples.

That’ll Be $1,000, Please

My fellow bartenders Ron and Keith and myself crafting the 2012 $1,000 Woodford Reserve Mint Juleps. (Yes, someone already made a boy band comment.)

The Woodford Reserve $1,000 mint julep is the 6th most expensive cocktail in the United States and the only one of the top 10 to be offered regularly. (Once a year, anyway.) BTW – the photo in the link is of the KY Derby Early Times mint julep. The 2012 Woodford Reserve $1k Mint Julep was made with Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon, Kentucky spearmint, California lemon mint, barrel-aged mint sugar and barrel-aged vanilla sugar, and looks like this:

It was interesting to watch people’s expressions when we told them the price. Many people thought we were joking …