Bartender Yani Frye of Detroit’s The Sugar House, was awarded $5,000 cash prize and a trip to Trinidad, where he will represent the U.S. in the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge in February 2014. Hundreds of beverage industry professionals gathered at The Joy Theatre in New Orleans recently as five finalists from across the country competed in the 2013 Angostura U.S. Cocktail Challenge.
With only seven minutes to prepare their two unique cocktails, finalists presented their own unique cocktail recipes using Angostura Aromatic Bitters and in some cases, Angostura rum. The event judges evaluated each finalist on taste, creativity and presentation.
Yani, the 2013 winner of the United States competition goes on to compete with more than 20 winners from other countries for the world championship next year.
Here are Yani’s winning cocktail recipes.
The Room Key
- 1.5 oz Angostura 5 Yr. Rum
- .5 oz elderflower liqueur
- .5 oz fresh lemon juice
- .5 oz raw ginger syrup*
Shake, strain into a tall Collins glass with an ice spear. Top with soda. Heavily top drink with Angostura aromatic bitters.
*Raw strained ginger juice 1:1 ratio to raw sugar by weight. Heat, Stir, Cool.
The Morning After
- 2 oz Angostura 5 Yr. Rum
- .5 oz Fresh Lime Juice
- .5 oz Maple syrup
Shake, strain into a low ball rocks glass with no ice. Top with Angostura aromatic bitters foam. A very small dash of cayenne pepper, sprinkled very lightly over top.
Angostura, based in Trinidad, is world famous for bitters, a secret formula developed by Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert dating back to 1824, originally created as a digestive aid for soldiers in the Brazilian jungle. The town of Angostura on the banks of the Orinoco River was an important trading post. The bitters were first exported to Europe in 1830.
The company began making rum in Trinidad after World War II. It is now said to be the largest distillery in the British West Indies producing in excess of 15 million gallons of alcohol each year, bottling 600,000 cases of rum annually through its production company, Trinidad Distillers Limited. Their facility in Laventille, Trinidad features a French designed still made by Savalle. There are six aging warehouses with a total capacity of more than 80,000 casks.
Robert Burr is the National Rum Examiner. He publishes Rob’s Rum Guide and hosts the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise, in addition to organizing the International Rum Expert Panel (RumXP).