Henri's Clint Rogers has won the first-ever Luxardo Cocktail Cup, which took place late last week at Anchor Brewing in San Francisco in connection with Mutineer Magazine. Rogers beat out six other bartenders from around the country for the title and prize: a trip to Luxardo's headquarters in Padua, Italy.
In August, Mutineer and Luxardo, the Italian liqueur brand best known for its Maraschino, announced the cocktail competition that would pit seven bartenders from around the country against each other for the title. Semi-finals were held in the seven cities in August to determine the finalists, who competed in San Francisco on Oct. 18. [Full disclosure: I was the Chicago judge and was flown out to San Francisco for the finals.]
Rogers initially beat out nearly 20 other Chicago contestants to advance to the finals, which took place on a gorgeous and unusually hot fall day in San Francisco at Anchor Brewing in the Potrero Hill neighborhood. The Henri spirits director created the Goat Town Swizzle, which combined Old Potrero Straight Rye Whiskey, Luxardo Apricot, Luxardo Fernet, Angostura Bitters, Fee Bros. Orange Bitters and lemon juice. Rogers also added his own housemade orgeat and swizzled all the ingredients into a glass containing minted crushed ice that he crafted with mint chlorophyll.
The competition was held in Anchor's private penthouse bar attached to a roof deck overlooking San Francisco's gorgeous skyline and the Bay Bridge. Each contestant had eight minutes to tell the story behind the drink and create three cocktails for the judges, which included Matteo Luxardo. In the end, Rogers, who presented last, had the most popular drink and took home the Cup.
· Luxardo Cocktail Cup [Mutineer Magazine]