Caitlin Corcoran’s Paris of the Plains Bartending Competition winner embraced a handful of culinary trends and required Corcoran to not only infuse tequila with corn and chilies but also to prepare components such as corn milk, corn cream and popcorn grits.
After talking to Corcoran, I realized each step is relatively simple. Each is also versatile enough to make for its own sake, even if you don’t attempt her Field of Dreams cocktail. But she did — that’s what the competition was about, after all. The result was a layered, sweet-spicy-savory cocktail that captivated judges.
The Paris of the Plains Bartending Competition has evolved throughout its eight year history. For the first time, contestants were required to create two cocktails — one with any ingredient they like, the other with Absolut vodka (an event sponsor) as the base spirit. Kansas City’s bartenders were up to the challenge, and they swept the top awards. Corcoran won; Zac Snyder of Justus Drugstore placed second; Brock Schulte of the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange was third; and Scott Tipton of Julep Cocktail Club was named Fan Favorite.
This was Corcoran’s vodka entry. She made her own peach-ginger ice cream, but you can use your favorite store brand of peach or vanilla.
Makes 1 drink
1 lime wedge
2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce agave syrup (made by combining equal parts agave nectar and water)
3 ounces Champagne or sparkling wine (Corcoran used Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut)
2 ounces peach or vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
Peach wedge, for garnish
Candied ginger, for garnish
Fill a Collins glass with ice. Squeeze lime wedge into glass; discard fruit. Add vodka and agave syrup. Pour in Champagne and stir. Top with small scoop of ice cream. Garnish with peach wedge and candied ginger.
Per drink: 321 calories (43 percent from fat), 6 grams total fat (4 grams saturated), 25 milligrams cholesterol, 17 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 46 milligrams sodium, no dietary fiber.