Monthly Archives: November 2008

Hiram Walker Announces a Winner in Its “Bloggers-Only” Gingerbread Cocktail Competition

bronze-autumn-crop2Congratulations to Shawn Cox of Rejiggeredwinner of the Hiram Walker Gingerbread Cocktail Competition! His Bronze Autumn cocktail took first place and as a grand prize, he will receive a bottle of his favorite hard-to-find spirit.

 

Special recognition should also be made for Lance Mayhew, who took second place, and Cheri Loughlin, Ted Munat, and Darcy O’Neil, whose drinks all landed them in the top five.

 

Thank you to everyone who participated. The competition was intense and some truly delicious drinks were created. Now, what are you waiting for? Raise a glass and toast the winner & keep all these recipes in mind during the holiday season.

 

Continue reading for the official press release:

 

PURCHASE, N.Y. (November 24, 2008)—Hiram Walker, the classic, diverse line of schnapps, liqueurs, and brandies, recently asked the top bloggers in the cocktail world to compete in an exclusive mixology contest using the newest addition to the Hiram Walker product line—Gingerbread Liqueur. Designed for “bloggers only” the Hiram Walker Gingerbread Cocktail Competition took place this month and saw a bevy of creative and unique submissions from more than a dozen influential cocktail bloggers.

 

Darcy O’Neil of Art of Drink, Gabriel Szaszko of Cocktailnerd, and Camper English of Alcademics joined thirteen others in a virtual mix-off to find the best-tasting Gingerbread cocktail in the blog world. Participants expressed excitement at the opportunity to take-on a challenge and partake in a little friendly competition among their colleagues. Still, all who competed had their eyes on the top prize—a bottle of the winner’s favorite hard-to-find spirit.

 

To vie for that award, contestants had to craft an original seasonal cocktail featuring Hiram Walker’s Gingerbread Liqueur. Released earlier this year, the Gingerbread Liqueur has a beautiful rich, nutmeg color and offers a sweet ‘n’ spicy brown sugar, ginger, vanilla and spice flavor that’s ideal for mixing with a variety of spirits. The participants were given a week to shake, swizzle, and stir with the Gingerbread Liqueur before serving up their official drink entries for judging.

 

Though eager to take part in the cocktail competition, some bloggers were a bit skeptical, at first, about working with the Hiram Walker Gingerbread Liqueur.

 

“Hiram Walker is not a brand that I usually use,” wrote Lance Mayhew on his blog, My Life on the Rocks. “I’ve always considered it a middle-of-the-road brand, more fit for your neighborhood tavern or college bar than a good craft bar.”

 

But after tasting and mixing with Hiram Walker’s Gingerbread Liqueur, Mayhew posted a detailed review of the product on his blog and mentioned he was “pleasantly surprised,” saying it offered “a better and fresher flavor profile than I imagined.”

 

That “pleasant surprise” is just the reaction Cort Kinker, brand director for Hiram Walker at Pernod Ricard USA was hoping for.

 

“Our new Gingerbread Liqueur is a quality product that’s ideal for mixing in seasonal cocktails, especially when put in the capable hands of these cocktail experts,” said Kinker. “We’re excited to have had the opportunity to work with these cocktail bloggers and are truly impressed with the results of the contest.”

 

With submissions from some of the most talented and creative mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts on the web, it was difficult for Mark Vaughan, editor and publisher of Santé Magazine, to pick a winning recipe. Thankfully, he had help from his staff: Rob Costantino (managing editor), Ashley Brenon (senior editor), Emily Gold (associate editor), and Chris Costello (co-publisher).

 

At the end of the day, simple ingredients and a great tasting cocktail beat out the more complex and eccentric drink entries, as Shawn Cox of Rejiggered took top honors with his Bronze Autumn Cocktail.

 

The Bronze Autumn Cocktail by Shawn Cox :

 

2 parts apple vodka
1 part Hiram Walker Gingerbread Liqueur
splash dry champagne

Shake the apple vodka and Hiram Walker Gingerbread Liqueur together with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with champagne and garnish with an apple slice.

 

After crafting eight different potential cocktail entries with the Gingerbread Liqueur, Cox says he was “tempted by other complex and decadent creations, but in the end the simplicity and complementary flavors won the day.”

 

Honorable mention must be given to Lance Mayhew, whose November Rain Cocktail was a close second. Mayhew’s submission matched Rye whiskey and a touch of orange bitters with the spiciness of the Gingerbread Liqueur.

 

November Rain by Lance J. Mayhew:

3 parts Rittenhouse 100 proof rye whiskey
1 parts Hiram Walker Gingerbread Liqueur
3 dashes Regans Orange Bitters

Chill, serve up with an orange twist.

 

Rounding out the top five were Cheri Loughlin of The Intoxicologist with her Mexican Café de Jengibre, Ted Munat of Le Mixeur and his Grandaddy Howe, and Darcy O’Neil of Art of Drink with his Fameuse Cocktail.

 

Mexican Café de Jengibre by Cheri Loughlin:

 

1-1/2 parts Anejo Tequila

1/2 part Kahlua Especial

1 part Hiram Walker Gingerbread Liqueur

1/2 part Half & Half

 

Build in a rocks or old-fashioned glass over ice.  Stir.  No garnish.

 

Granddaddy Howe by Ted Munat:

1 part bourbon
2 parts ruby port
1/2 part Gingerbread Liqueur
1/2 part Cherry Heering
1 whole egg

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and dry shake ingredients for about 15 seconds. Add ice and shake for about 10 more seconds. Strain into a goblet and grate fresh nutmeg over the top.

 

Fameuse Cocktail by Darcy O’Neil:

1 part Bourbon
½ part Gingerbread Liqueur
½ part Jerez Fino Sherry

3 parts Fresh Pressed Apple Cider
3 dashes Angostura Bitters

In a double old fashioned glass packed with ice, add all of the ingredients and stir until chilled. Garnish with an apple slice. This drink can also be served warm, but I prefer it chilled. It’s versatile.

 

 

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The Fameuse Cocktail by Darcy O’Neil

fameuse-cocktailThis post is the last in a series that profiled participants in the Hiram Walker Gingerbread Cocktail Competition and their drink entries. The winner of the contest will be announced later today!

 

I met Darcy O’Neil earlier this year, over a delicious breakfast at Brennan’s in New Orleans. What a nice guy! Part brainy bartender, part mad-scientist, Darcy is the mind behind Art of Drink.  He’s kind of a big deal. People know him (if you don’t get the reference…please ignore).

 

Seriously though, Art of Drink has got to be one of the most popular cocktail blogs on the web. It is there that Darcy shares newly-created cocktail recipes, spirits reviews, in-depth historical cocktail research, and a scientific spin on spirits. His Tales of the Cocktail presentation on Sensory Perception & Mixology was great (and it appears he’ll be giving a similar session at The London Club if you’re lucky enough to be around on Nov 27th…wait…why on Thanksgiving?…oh yeah…Canada).    

 

Darcy was kind enough to throw his hat into the ring for the Hiram Walker Gingerbread Cocktail Competition with this lovely drink:

 

Fameuse Cocktail by Darcy O’Neil:

1 oz Bourbon (he used Buffalo Trace)
½ oz Gingerbread Liqueur
½ oz Jerez Fino Sherry (he used Tio Pepe)
3 oz Fresh Pressed Apple Cider
3 Dash Angostura Bitters

“Instructions: In a double old fashioned glass packed with ice, add all of the ingredients and stir until chilled. Garnish with an apple slice. This drink can also be served warm, but I prefer it chilled. It’s versatile.”

 

I’m all about using apple cider this time of year & I think it pairs well with the gingerbread. Darcy actually covered this cocktail so make sure and check out his full explanation. And remember—the winner of the contest will be announced later today!

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Lance Mayhew’s November Rain

november-rainThis post is a part of a series that will profile participants in the Hiram Walker Gingerbread Cocktail Competition and their drink entries. The winner of the contest will be announced the week of Thanksgiving.

 

Lance Mayhew, a founding member of the Oregon Bartender’s Guild, describes himself as a “corporate drone by day, bartender by night,” and blogs about his love of cocktail culture on My Life on the Rocks. From Portland, Lance writes about his favorite cocktail books, new craft cocktail creations, product reviews, and stories from behind the stick at 50 Plates. He’s a great mixologist who’s passionate about his work so check out his site for some great insight into the biz.

 

November Rain, Lance’s entry into the Hiram Walker Gingerbread Cocktail Competition was the very first submission I received. It’s simple, straightforward, and features the great pairing of rye & Gingerbread. Give it a try!

 

November Rain by Lance J. Mayhew:

3oz Rittenhouse 100 proof rye whiskey
1 oz Hiram Walker Gingerbread Liqueur
3 dashes Regans Orange Bitters

Chill, serve up with an orange twist.

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Cheri Loughlin’s Mexican Café de Jengibre

mexican-cafe-de-jengibreThis post is a part of a series that will profile participants in the Hiram Walker Gingerbread Cocktail Competition and their drink entries. The winner of the contest will be announced the week of Thanksgiving.

 

The Intoxicologist’s Cheri Loughlin is great about filling her readers in on the latest buzz in the world of booze. Not a day goes by without a write-up on the newest item on the market, timely cocktail recipes, press releases, and videos. She does a lot of research and puts a lot of time into ensuring she gives her readers the top stories first. Check her out any day of the week and you’re sure to learn something new.

 

For her entry in the Hiram Walker Gingerbread Cocktail Competition, Cheri crafted the oh-so-delicioso Mexican Café de Jengibre.

 

Mexican Café de Jengibre by Cheri Loughlin:

 

1-1/2 ounces Anejo Tequila

1/2 ounce Kahlua Especial

1 ounce Hiram Walker Gingerbread Liqueur

1/2 ounce Half & Half

 

Build in a rocks or old-fashioned glass over ice.  Stir.  No garnish.

 

Lucky for us, Cheri included this beautiful photo (which might look familiar) with her drink entry. She has a knack for drink photography and, judging from her entry, mixology too. The combination of Kahlua and Gingerbread just works, as you’ll find in several recipes on the Hiram Walker site, but I like the addition of tequila here, to spice things up. Nice work, Cheri!

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Camper English gives us Fall Sunshine

camper-englishThis post is a part of a series that will profile participants in the Hiram Walker Gingerbread Cocktail Competition and their drink entries. The winner of the contest will be announced the week of Thanksgiving.

 

If you are at all in-tune with cocktail blogs and/or the San Francisco drinks scene, chances are you’ve already heard of spirits writer Camper English and his booze blog Alcademics. One of the most frequently-updated blogs on my reading list, Alcademics provides clever commentary on the drinks industry, new brands, upcoming events and more.

 

Despite recently labeling himself a bar (pre)tender , I think Camper holds his own with his contribution to the Hiram Walker Gingerbread Cocktail Competition, Fall Sunshine.

Fall Sunshine by Camper English:

 

2 ounces Hornitos Anejo tequila

1 ounce Hiram Walker Gingerbread liqueur

¼ ounce Cointreau Noir

¾ ounce orange juice

 

Combine ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake thoroughly. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.

 

A blend of the Cointreau we all know and Remy Martin cognac, Cointreau Noir sounds perfect for the fall/holiday season, and seems like it would pair quite well with the vanilla and spice of the Gingerbread Liqueur. Don’t forget to check in here Monday to see if Fall Sunshine takes the top prize!

 

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Jacob Grier’s Fall Dessert Drink

jacob-grierThis post is a part of a series that will profile participants in the Hiram Walker Gingerbread Cocktail Competition and their drink entries. The winner of the contest will be announced the week of Thanksgiving.

 

Jacob Grier’s blog is a well-written site chock-full of interesting insights, but it’s difficult to describe or label because it covers so many subjects—a few of which are coffee, wine, libertarianism, magic and weird sea creatures.

 

Somewhere in the midst of all that there’s some good talk about cocktails.  

 

What kind of person would blog about this strange mix of topics? Well, Jacob describes himself as “a freelance writer, barista, and bartender. He writes, eats, and drinks a lot. He recently left a political life in Washington, DC for better things in Portland, OR.”

 

My guess is Jacob will be covering cocktails more often since Portland is known for its craft cocktail scene. Click through to see what’s top-of-mind lately.

 

For the Hiram Walker Gingerbread Cocktail Contest Jacob whipped up this number, an untitled cocktail that’s simple yet decadent.

 

The Untitled Fall Dessert Drink by Jacob Grier:

 

2 oz Scotch
.75 oz Hiram Walker gingerbread liqueur
.5 oz whipping cream

Shake over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

 

I love drinks I can make in a pinch with just a few ingredients on hand & I like the combination of gingerbread and scotch here. Thanks for the recipe, Jacob!

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Blair Frodelius Creates the Ginger Frost

snowflake_10-12-071This post is a part of a series that will profile participants in the Hiram Walker Gingerbread Cocktail Competition and their drink entries. The winner of the contest will be announced the week of Thanksgiving.

 

Good Spirits News, by Blair Frodelius, is a cocktail site with a little bit of everything. It’s fully equipped with a blog that features original (and often timely) cocktail recipes, the latest updates in spirits & cocktails news, a list of cocktail competitions currently taking place, and upcoming events in the spirits world. Check out GSN to get caught up on all these happenings, get a recommendation for a great cocktail book, and learn about the latest cocktail gadgets.

 

Blair was kind enough to join us in the Hiram Walker Gingerbread Cocktail Competition with this submission, The Ginger Frost.

 

Ginger Frost by Blair Frodelius:

 

2 oz. Appleton Special Rum
0.75 oz. Hiram Walker Gingerbread Liqueur
0.75 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
0.25 oz Turbinado simple syrup*
1 egg white
fresh grated nutmeg
snowflake stencil

Pour rum, gingerbread liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white into cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake well for 30 seconds.  Strain into chilled martini glass.   Lay snowflake stencil over rim of glass and gently tap fresh grated nutmeg onto drink.  Remove stencil and serve!

 

I like the added touch with the snowflake stencil. Very festive. Here’s Blair’s instructions for creating that Turbinado Simple Syrup.

 

“To make Turbinado simple syrup take one cup of Turbinado sugar and slowly dissolve into one cup of boiling water.  Add tsp of vodka to preserve.  Keep refrigerated.”

 

Blair must have been in the giving spirit, because he sent along this bonus Gingerbread recipe. This one’s on the house folks. Enjoy!

 

Manhattan Holiday by Blair Frodelius:

2 oz. Bourbon (he used Old Forester)
0.5 oz. Hiram Walker Gingerbread Liqueur
1/4 tsp Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1 dash Fee’s Orange Bitters

Pour ingredients into mixing glass, stir with crushed ice for 30 seconds, strain into chilled rocks glass.  Garnish with an orange peel twist.

 

 

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