The Socially Superlative team was invited to check out the Marie Brizard USA Cocktail Challenge where the semifinals took place right here in NYC.  The winner of the NYC round gets to go to the 10th annual Tales of the Cocktail taking place in New Orleans in July – and that’s where the competition seriously starts heating up.

The winner of the NYC semifinal is James Menite of Crown Restaurant, with his winning cocktail, “Made!” Now James can get read to head to New Orleans, where he will be competing against top mixologists and bartenders from across the country who will all be preparing their original Marie Brizard cocktail to be sampled and judged by an expert panel.  The winner of the New Orleans finals will compete for a chance to participate at the annual Marie Brizard International Bartender Seminar and Competition in Bordeaux, France.

Congratulations, James!

The Runner-Up was Aaron Butler of newly opened LES hotspot Experimental Cocktail Club with his cocktail, “Letter of Marque.” Third place went to Gabriel Zahriyeh of The Empire Hotel with her cocktail, “Rug Bum.”

Check out recipes for the top 3 cocktails below.

FIRST PLACE: The “Made” cocktail by James Menite

  • 1 oz.       Marie Brizard Anisette
  • .5 oz.     Cynar
  • .5 oz .     Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • .5 oz.      great Italian espresso
  • .5 oz.      egg white infused with coffee beans
  • Star anise garnish with drop of Italian honey topped with shaved meyer lemon

Directions: Dry shake all ingredients. Then add kold draft ice. Shake vigorously . Strain into chilled coupe. Add garnish of star anise, droplet of Italian honey on center of anise, then shaved meyer lemon zest on top of the drink. Enjoy

RUNNER-UP: “Letter of Marque”  by Aaron Butler

  • .75 oz.     Marie BrizardApricot
  • 1.25 oz.    Plymouth Gin
  • .75 oz.     Meletti Amaro
  • .25 oz.     Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Float      East India Pale Ale
  • 2 dashes        Peychauds Bitters

THIRD PLACE: “Rug Bum” by Gabriel Zahriyeh

  • 2 oz.       Chocolate Chai tea infused Sobieski Vanilla Vodka
  • .5 oz.       Marie Brizard Orange
  • 2 oz.       Meletti Pomegranate Juice

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