On the Rocks Bartender Challenge Recap

Cori and Kyra fun 1Bartenders are typically expected to quickly produce drinks on demand to their customer’s specifications.  However, when you challenge great bartenders to step outside of that role and take on the challenge of innovating new cocktails with great ingredients you open the door to true craftsmanship.  At the Sugar Land Wine and Food Affair on the Rocks Bartender Challenge some of the best bars and restaurants in town sent out their heavy hitters to see what they could create.  SLWFF Judging 3Their inspiration for their creations was none other than Hendrick’s Gin.  Hendrick’s is a great base for a competition that demands innovation as the gin itself did not got the traditional route in its creation.  By infusing the gin with rose petal and cucumber Hendrick’s successfully cuts some of the harshness.   The resulting smooth yet complex beverage sets the stage for the real challenge for bartenders: creating something innovative and new that will be the signature drink for the duration of the festival.

Bartenders Challenge Contestant 5 Bartenders Challenge Contestant 4 Bartenders Challenge Contestant 3 Bartenders Challenge Contestant 2 Bartenders Challenge Contestant 1It was clear early on all of the bartenders competing were up for the challenge.  Some took a fresh approach to common ingredients such as tazo tea while others took a trip on the wild side by adding ingredients like mesquite.  Despite the range of ingredients I felt with every tasting that I was trying something new for the first time.  Some tastes were sweet and refreshing while others were more on the savory side but they all opened my imagination to all that could be delivered by Hendrick’s gin.  SLWFF WinnerWhen you couple the great drinks with the awesome setting of a plane hangar you have an unforgettable night on your hands.

Congrats to the winner, Sheridan Fay, for her Explorer’s Seaside Tipple.  The sea salt foam on top was exceptional and you can look forward to enjoying this drink tomorrow and Sunday at the continuation of the Sugar Land Wine and Food Affair Events.SLWFF Winner (2)

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