Restaurant Hospitality magazine says “a perfect cocktail in a perfect setting is still one of life’s great joys.”
So it celebrates the libations by holding an annual contest to come up with the best in the nation. Hundreds of cocktail recipes were submitted and they were judged on two points — creativity and balance — to determine the 15 best and 40 honorable mentions in its “2015 Best Cocktails in America.”
“They are the cocktails that make us wish we were sitting next to Raymond Chandler having the first drink of the evening in a quiet bar,” the publication said.
While Kansas City wasn’t in the top 15, it did make the honorable mentions.
Gram & Dun on the Country Club Plaza received two. A Gram & Dun’s bartender, Jacob Bowyer, created Fowl & Fodder in the gin category, and another bartender, Sam Lage, created Sparkling Rye in the whiskey/bourbon category.
Bread & Butter Concepts — owners of such area operations as República on the Plaza, Urban Table in Prairie Village, BRGR Kitchen + Bar in Prairie Village and in the Power & Light District, and Taco Republic in Kansas City, Kan. — hired Scott Tipton as beverage director in June. Tipton is updating all of the cocktail offerings at the restaurants and then plans to change them seasonally and to go with new trends.
“In today’s market where everyone is doing cocktails you want to stay on top of the trends and hopefully help set the trends,” Tipton said. “It’s a lot of fun, it’s a complete creative outlet. I get to release all those juices — no pun intended.”
Lone Wolf Bar & Grill at the Isle of Capri Casino Kansas City also received an honorable mention for its Rainbow Sherbet Punch. Amber Bennett, food and beverage supervisor for Isle of Capri, created the drink.
The Bad Girlfriend from Jake’s Tavern & Grill in Rockwood, Tenn., took the No. 1 spot with 360 Chocolate Vodka, Chocolate Chili Patron and Davy Crockett’s Tennessee Whiskey for $7.
The judges said: “That entices one to continue sipping, despite the slight burn of the chocolate chili tequila. It’s a crazy, delicious combination that nearly had us drunk-dialing our old girlfriends.”