Fourteen bartenders. Twenty minutes. One winner of an iPad. That was roughly the formula for the bartending competition Sunday night at Lola, sponsored by Don Julio. Using either Don Julio's Reposado or Blanco, the participating bartenders made mini-cocktails, a concept that the tequila brand calls "Luxury Drops."
The winner, Dylan Regan of Jimmy's Restaurant and Bar in Aspen, won the title and an iPad. Tyler French of Row 14 took second, and Britt Henze of Mateo placed third. (French and Henze also competed in the Colorado Cocktail Contest last night, when Henze's Bear Paw Palmer won the People's Choice Award.)
Other contenders included Brian Melton of TAG, Kelly Berger of Zengo, Kyle West of Gaslamp, Robert Leavey of the Summit at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Bradley Kaplan of TGI Friday's in Thornton, Greg Van Wagner of Oak at Fourteenth, Bianca Huggins of the new Amaro Drinkery Italia and Justin Lavenue of Bombay Bistro.
Here are the recipes for the three winning cocktails:
Dylan Regan's Star Child (1 drink)
1 1/4 oz. Don Julio Blanco 1/2 oz. orange juice 1/4 oz. agave nectar 1 star anise, muddled 2 drops of orange bitters Dash of orange flower water Mint to garnish
Tyler French's Lick then go Don (1 drink) 1 1/4 oz. Don Julio Reposado 1/2 oz. Sweet vermouth 1/4 oz. Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
Garnish with a whole Madagascar vanilla bean dipped in honey and rolled in honey powder
Britt Henze's Secret Garden (3 drinks) 4 oz. Don Julio Reposado 2 oz. Chartreuse Yellow 1 oz. lemon juice
Muddle together mint, four slices of yellow bell peppers and cilantro. Cucumber and pineapple for garnish.