The Pop! Heard Around the Big Apple

Logan Ronkainen mixing Gone Apple Picking
Logan Ronkainen mixing Gone Apple Picking

A few weeks ago we spread the news that the Big Apple would be going bubbly with New York Champagne Week. The most anticipated event was the Champagne Cocktail Competition at the Experimental Cocktail Club. Below is Champagne Week founder Blaine Ashley's recap of the event.

T-minus two-weeks ago commenced the first-annual New York Champagne Week. Filled with a slew of sparkling festivities, various events showcased pure Champagne at a variety of tastings and dinners plus hosted parties that showcased Champagne alongside our fave, spirits. One of the most buzzed about events took place on Tuesday, November 5th, a Champagne Cocktail Competition took place at Paris-bred bar and lounge, Experimental Cocktail Club in NYC's lower east side.

The bubbly-filled fête showcased 10 of the city's best bartenders mixing it up to earn the winning prize of 1k and a magnum of Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne for Best Champagne Cocktail. Each of the bartenders chose a random spirit out of a hat to with which create a bubbly libation. In the end, Logan Ronkainen of Trattoria Il Mulino took top honors for his 'Gone Apple Picking' cocktail featuring Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whisky. By a tense one-point hair, The Dead Rabbit's Franky Marshall earned 1st Runner Up for her Pierre Ferrand Cognac-laden 'French Paradox' sip, while Alex Valencia of The Flatiron Room won fan favorite for his 'French 5 de Mayo' Milagro Tequila sparkling libation. All of the competing bartenders did a stellar job at concocting Champagne cocktails, proving that authentic French bubbly can indeed pair well with a variety of spirits.

Santé!

Winning Cocktail:

GONE APPLE PICKING

by Logan Ronkainen of Trattoria Il Mulino, featuring Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whisky

  • 3.5 oz of Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne
  • 5/8 oz (heavy 1/2 oz) Monkey Shoulder Scotch
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 7/8 oz (heavy 3/4 oz)
  • Chamomile-Cinnamon Honey Syrup (recipe follows)
  • 3 dashes Baked Apple Bitters

Shake all ingredients except Champagne in a mixing tin with ice. Add Champagne to the tin and strain into flute glass. Garnish with an apple slice and grated cinnamon on top.

Frank Marshall
Frank Marshall

CHAMOMILE HONEY SYRUP

  • 1 quart Honey
  • 1 quart Water
  • 16 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup dried chamomile flowers

Grind cinnamon sticks. Add to pot with honey and chamomile. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 20 mins. Strain.

1st Runner Up:

FRENCH PARADOX

by Franky Marshall of The Dead Rabbit, featuring Pierre Ferrand Cognac

  • 2 oz Pierre Ferrand Cognac
  • .25 oz Blume Marillen Apricot Eau de Vie
  • .5 oz Rosé Wine Syrup
  • .75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Billecart-Salmon Rosé Champagne

Crush one Cardamom pod in mixing tin. Add the rest of the ingredients. Dry shake. Add 2 oz chilled Billecart-Salmon Rosé Champagne. Fine strain into wine glass over pebble ice. Garnish with strawberry slices dusted with pepper mixture and cardamom.

Alex Valencia
Alex Valencia

Fan Favorite:

AGAVE & GRAPES

by Alex Valencia of Flatiron Room, featuring Milagro Tequila

  • 1 oz Milagro Tequila Blanco
  • 75oz simple syrup
  • .75oz lemon juice
  • 1 strawberry
  • Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne

Put the strawberry in a shaker and add the simple syrup, muddle. Add the lemon and Tequila, add ice and shake. Double strain and serve into a flute glass. Top with Champagne. Garnish with a strawberry slice on top of the drink.

Mark your calendars for next year's New York Champagne Week slated for November 3 - 7, 2014. 'Til we toast again!