ultimate cocktail challenge
The inaugural Ultimate Cocktail Challenge was held at Astor Center in New York City on April 12-14, and it recently announced the winning spirits. Winners were chosen by a panel of experts who assessed how well individual spirits performed in classic cocktails, like, for example, how different gins performed in gin cocktails like the Martini, Aviation and Negroni.

Spirits were judged on a 100-point rating system in multiple rounds. The highest scoring spirit in each cocktail was awarded the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge Chairman’s Trophy.  Select winners are noted below:


2010 Chairman’s Trophy Winners

Best Gin in a…

· Aviation – Tanqueray No. 10

· Dry Martini – Tanqueray London Dry

· Gin & Tonic – Plymouth

· Negroni – Tanqueray London Dry

· Tom Collins – Tanqueray London Dry


Best Tequila in a…

· Margarita – Milagro Reposado

· Paloma – Tres Agaves Reposado

· Tequila Sunrise – Tres Agaves Blanco


Best Rum in a…

· Daiquiri – Banks 5 Island

· Mai Tai – Plantation Grande Reserve

· Mojito – Don Q Cristal

Best North American Whiskey in a…

· Manhattan – Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond

· Mint Julep Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond

· Old-Fashioned – Woodford Reserve

· Sazerac – Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond

· Whiskey Sour – Woodford Reserve



The judges did not know the identity of any of the competing spirits in order to promote a completely level playing field. Cocktails were mixed by  experienced New York City bartenders who followed specific recipes chosen by Judging Chairman F. Paul Pacult and UCC advisors Dale DeGroff and David Wondrich.

Click for the full list of winners.

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