On Wednesday, January 20, a panel of esteemed judges representing the nation’s cocktail community gathered for a private tasting at downtown’s Leaf Restaurant to select the winner of Charleston Wine + Food’s annual Cocktail Competition. Four local bar pros were selected from over 30 preliminary participants to compete for the chance to win bragging rights as the creator of the Official 2016 Charleston Wine + Food Cocktail.
Supported by Imbibe Magazine, this year’s competition challenged the mixologists to put their own unique spin on the classic gin cocktail, the French 75.
2016 Official Charleston Wine + Food Cocktail Competition Finalists:
Louli Burroughs, Fish
Allen Lancaster, The Bar at the Spectator Hotel
James Bolt, The Gin Joint
Paul Yellin, Cane Rhum Bar
2016 Official Cocktail Competition Finalist Judging Panel:
Adrian Biggs, Bacardi USA Senior Portfolio Ambassador
Kat Kinsman, Editor at Large – Tasting Table
Emma Janzen, Digital Editor – Imbibe
John Aquino, Owner & Founder of Natural Blonde; President USBG-Charleston
Travis Hartong, Liquor Buyer & Wholesale Manager – Bottles
The winner was announced at Art in a Glass, an event that immediately followed the private judging, where guests enjoyed small bites and samples of all four finalist cocktails. Charleston Wine + Food is thrilled to reveal the Official Cocktail of the 2016 festival: Bon Vivant, crafted by Iouli Burroughs of Fish. The cocktail will premiere exclusively at the festival’s Opening Night: Cheers to Charleston! kick-off celebration, Wednesday, March 2, at Charleston Gaillard Center. (Tickets available here.)
Congrats to all four finalists, and cheers to Iouli!