Over the last year, through my Behind the Stick column, I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with bartenders all over Jacksonville (and St. Augustine) and discovering what ingredients they’re working with on any given day. On Monday, August 7th, we held a competition in the Parlour of Grape and Grain to see how some of those bartenders utilized either the grapefruit cello or orange cello produced by Marlin and Barrel. Of seven cocktails, the Valyrian Sling by Meaghan Leonard came out on top. She used the orangecello, the 2nd street gin (also from local distillery, Marlin and Barrel), and several syrups that she made herself. The resulting drink was a tad sweet but well-balanced. Leonard used vintage Collins glasses with decorative designs.
Liam Lynch from Flask and Cannon took home third place for his tiki variation (complete with edible honeycomb). Second place went to Shannon Pilcher from Sidecar who turned out a tasty beach beverage (including edible sand) despite sustaining a head injury just before the competition. Everyone that participated came up with excellent drinks, and it was a true privilege getting to try them all. Check out Behind the Stick in the September issue of EU to see who I chat with next!