Last night we got the chance to try the four finalists for the Food + Wine festival’s annual cocktail competition, and we’re still buzzin’ with good vibes — no really, those drinks were strong. Each finalist presented their spin on the classic gin cocktail, the French 75, and Iouli Burroughs of Fish took home the gold with his concoction, the Bon Vivant. Made with gin, aperol, grapefruit juice, ginger syrup, lime juice, green chartreuse, and Champagne, and topped with candied ginger, this refreshing pink drink went down real, real smooth.

The other three cocktails were great too (they beat out over 30 finalists to get there). Allen Lancaster of the Bar at the Spectator presented Fig Getta ‘Bout It, a rollercoaster mouth ride through Genever, fig puree, muscovado syrup, lemon juice, boomsma cloosterbitter, serrano pepper, and lemon tincture. Paul Yellin, the man behind the soon-to-be-opened Cane Rhum Bar in the old Big John’s Tavern, created a (very) stiff drink with both gin and rum, C’est Si Bon. The Gin Joint’s James Bolt rounded out the evening with his pretty little number, A Rose by any Other Name, made with gin, sloe gin, lemon juice, honey syrup, tempus fugit violet, imbue petal and thorn, Peychaud’s bitters, and brut rose. 

Stay tuned for all things Wine + Food festival which begins March 2. 

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