Congratulations to the winners of our Great Orlando Mixer
craft cocktail competition!
Last night, eight bars went head-to-head in a competition to mix the best cocktail made with St. Augustine gin as its main ingredient. Our Mixer attendees, dressed in their finest Prohibition-era garb, tasted the craft concoctions from each bar then voted for their favorite drinks. The competition was tight: There was local honey, there were berries, there were blood oranges and basil and muddled herbs ... but in the end, there could be only one 2015 Great Orlando Mixer, and the winner was ....
The Church Street Tavern!
The bartenders created a gin sticky, which included Cinnamon syrup infused grilled orange slices and St. Augustine gin blended with fresh squeezed orange juice. Garnished with a cinnamon stick and orange twist.
Congratulations, guys, you earned it!
Our runner up was The Hen House,
which mixed a Florida fizz, a new-school take on the old gin fizz, with some Florida twists. Made with locally sourced Florida orange flower oil, Florida honey syrup and of course, St. Augustine Gin.
And honorable mention went to Prato,
for its berried treasure, a gin cocktail with Blackberry, rosemary simple syrup, lime and lemon bitters.
Thanks to St. Augustine Distillery
for giving our bartenders the perfect canvas upon which to build their cocktails. If you haven't been to the distillery, it's worth the trip to visit – located in a historic ice plant just off St. Augustine's main drag, the distillery makes small batches of craft spirits made with Florida-grown ingredients. Right now the distillery offers a Florida cane vodka, made with Florida-grown sugar cane, and a New World Gin, which is made with a blend of coriander, juniper, lemon peel and cassia, to create a lightly herbal, citrusy product that's pretty damn versatile, judging from the cocktails we tasted last night. St. Augustine is also working toward offering small-batch bourbons and rums, too, but those take a little longer to craft. The bourbon is already barreled and aging, and it's scheduled for release in 2018.
Get a tour, attend a seminar on craft cocktails and sports, then have dinner at the Ice Plant Bar,
located upstairs in the same building as the distillery. Then, stop by Cousteau's Waffle and Milkshake
bar for a waffle (and maybe a shake too) the next morning before you go home. Weekend planned. You will not regret it.
And special thanks to Blue Star
for being our hostess and emcee last night – you rocked it, and we think you're the bees knees!
Keep an eye on our website for photo galleries from the Great Orlando Mixer, but in the meantime, here are a couple of teaser photos from Instagram to give you an idea what it was like.