Recipes from the Runners-Up of our 2018 TOTC Cocktail Competition

Posted on: Jun. 29, 2018 | | By: Dan Borntrager

A few weeks ago, we profiled the winner of our 2018 TOTC Cocktail Competition: Miami’s Willy Estrada took home the grand award with his cocktail, the Spiced Nashi. It was a tough competition, but we would be remiss if we didn’t highlight all of the great contestants’ recipes. They all worked tremendously hard and competed with the best.

We start with our first runner-up, the Sandía Mía 75, the creation of Playa del Carmen’s Anai Lucely Ac Cel (Hotel Banyan Tree).

Sandía Mía 75


    • 1½ ounces of Hendrick’s Gin
    • 3 oz G.H. Mumm Champagne
    • ½ oz Watermelon Juice (Recipe Below)
    • ½ oz Rosemary Syrup (Recipe Below)
    • ½ oz Lemon Juice

How to make it:

    1. Make the Watermelon Juice
      1. Cut 350 grams of watermelon and blend it without water, just the fruit
    2. Make the Rosemary Syrup
      1. Take 115 grams of rosemary
      2. Take 500 grams of grounded sugar
      3. Take 16 oz of water
    3. Put everything except for the champagne in a saute pan and put on low and let it boil. Turn off the heat when it starts boiling
    4. Strain everything into a glass and let it rest with fresh rosemary in the fridge
    5. Put everything into a coupe glass except for the champagne with ice
    6. Shake everything for about 12 seconds and double strain
    7. Add champagne and garnish with watermelon slice

Our second runner-up is the Calais. Served in a collins glass, this drink was the brainchild of the District of Columbia’s Zachary Faden (Drink Company).


    • 1 ½ oz Sipsmith London Dry Gin
    • ½ oz Christian Drouin Calvados Pays d’Auge Réserve des Fiefs
    • ½ oz Lemon Juice
    • ¼ oz Lime Juice
    • ¾ oz Simple Syrup (1:1 by weight)
    • 3 oz G. H. Mumm Cordon Rouge Champagne Brutrnt

How to make it:

Combine all the ingredients except for the champagne in a shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice (preferably a single spear). Top with Champagne. Stir briefly and gently. Enjoy.

Finally, tied for second runner-up is Market St. Restaurant’s Renée Fitzgerald from Rhinebeck, NY, who offered up a wildly creative Gins & Roses, served in a coupe glass.

Gins & Roses Ingredients:

  • ¾ oz Pomp & Whimsy Gin Liqueur
  • ¾ oz Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin
  • ½ oz fresh squeezed Key Lime juice
  • ¼ oz honey-sage syrup (recipe below)
  • 2½ oz William Chris Pétillant Naturel Rosé fresh sage leaf

How to make it:

To prepare honey-sage syrup:

  • ½ cup local honey
  • ½ cup water
  • 10-12 fresh sage leaves, plus reserve one sage leaf for garnish.

Add honey and water to saucepan. Bruise or tear fresh sage leaves to release essence fully. Add bruised sage to honey/water mixture in saucepan. Bring all to a boil, let boil for 1 minute and then remove from heat. Let honey-sage syrup cool and steep for at least 1 hour, then strain to remove sage leaves.

To prepare cocktail:

In a shaker, add ¾ oz of Pomp & Whimsy Liqueur, ¾ oz of Nolet’s Silver Gin, ½ oz of fresh-squeezed juice from Key Limes, and ¼ oz of the prepared honey-sage syrup.

Fill shaker with ice. Cover and shake vigorously until all ingredients are chilled and combined, then strain into coupe glass.

Top with 2½ ounces of William Chris Pétillant Naturel Rosé and garnish with fresh sage leaf.


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