Attention SoCal: Drinkhacker and Lucid Absinthe Want Your Absinthe Cocktails!

This April, we landed in Austin, Texas to see what bartenders in the region could do with absinthe — you know, outside of pouring it into a glass with sugar and water.

The results were dazzling. I’m still dreaming about some of the winning concoctions the contestants came up with, particularly Chris Morris’s inspired Sogni d’Oro, a beautiful blend of Lucid Absinthe, espresso liqueur, dark rum, pineapple juice, and coconut nectar.

Now Drinkhacker and Lucid are back for round two: We’re heading to Los Angeles this September to see what the mixologists of the Southland can serve up.

Consider the bar raised. We’ve already seen some impressive entries, and I know that the judges will be looking for something completely different. Will the winner go with a spin on tradition? Perhaps the ever-popular absinthe-laced tiki cocktail? Or something we’ve yet to even think about?

The rules are about the same as last time around: We’re accepting entries now through August 25. Finalists will be selected and announced on August 28. On September 11 we’ll have a live competition in Los Angeles (venue to be announced) where the finalists will make their drinks live for us, the judges, and you, the audience.

The judges will convene to pick a winner, who’ll receive a $1000 prize from Drinkhacker. The “fan favorite,” based on voting from attendees, will receive $500 in cash.

Ready to enter? The contest is open to working mixologists throughout Southern California, so don’t be shy if you’re working in Long Beach or La Jolla.

To enter, create a unique recipe using Lucid Absinthe and email the recipe and a photograph to [email protected] Again, entries will be accepted through August 25 at 11:59pm PDT. The field of entries will be narrowed to 10 finalists who will be announced on August 28.

Time to get cracking, kids! Watch this space (and follow @drinkhacker on Twitter) for more news as we get closer to the big event!

Attention Austin: Drinkhacker and Lucid Absinthe Want Your Absinthe Cocktails!

Ten years ago this March, the effective ban on the sale of absinthe in the U.S. was finally lifted, formally legalizing the sale of one of the most mysterious and enigmatic spirits ever produced, marking the end of nearly a century of unwarranted persecution.

When absinthe came back, it came back with a vengeance, with domestic and foreign-produced brands literally flooding the market. Within a few years there were more than 200 brands for sale, all vying for the dollars of drinkers fascinated with this forbidden concoction.

What we didn’t get was absinthe’s return to cocktail culture. Sure, folks might swirl some real absinthe in a Sazerac instead of Herbsaint, or rinse a cocktail glass with a scant dash of absinthe for a Corpse Reviver, but actual absinthe-focused cocktails have remained few and far between. Most people who encounter absinthe today probably do so the old-fashioned way, with cold water dripped slowly over a sugar cube suspended above a glass of the “green fairy.”

The world of absinthe-focused cocktails is simply much too small, and that’s why Lucid Absinthe Supérieure (whom you can thank for helping to get the ban overturned in 2007) and Drinkhacker are teaming up to challenge bartenders in a few of our most vibrant cities to design the most creative cocktails they can, using Lucid Absinthe as a focus. Starting with Austin, Texas, a panel of us experts (including Lucid master distiller Ted Breaux) will pore over the submissions and debate the merits of each. The winning recipe in the so-called Cocktail Classique competition will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize by Drinkhacker on April 24.

Also that evening, we’ll host an event in Austin, inviting our top 10 finalists to mix up their recipes for the public. You’re all invited to swing by, sample some absinthe drinks, and pick your favorite. The favorite drink judged by the fans will receive a $500 prize.

So now it’s time for you Austin bartenders to get cracking. Applicants should create a unique recipe using Lucid Absinthe and email the recipe and a photograph to [email protected]. Entries will be accepted through April 10 at 11:59pm PDT. The field of entries will be narrowed to 10 finalists who will be announced on April 11.

Watch this space (and follow @drinkhacker on Twitter) for more news as we get closer to the big event!

Happy 9th Birthday to Drinkhacker!

Wow, I almost missed it — we’re nine years old, today!

Thanks to all our fans and readers for keeping Drinkhacker going strong for all this time — we’re gunning to publish our 5000th post before our 10th birthday next year, and I’m hoping to come up with some amazing giveaways for you guys for being such loyal fans.

IF we were going to give away something boozy and cool, what would you want it to be? And don’t say Pappy.

Win Free VIP Tickets to the SF Craft Spirits Carnival!

carnival

What’s the best kind of carnival? A CRAFT SPIRITS CARNIVAL, that’s what!

People, we’ve got a huge treat for you — two pairs of VIP tickets to the San Francisco Craft Spirits Carnival this Sunday, August 16, 2015. (Tickets are good for both the wine and spirits portion of the show, but only on Sunday.)

The event takes place all weekend at Fort Mason. All told, this is $600 worth of tickets that we’re giving out!

All you have to do to register to win is like our Facebook page and leave a response for us (any response) on this post. We’ll pick two winners at random — each winner will get two tickets — and have the carnies themselves contact you for delivery. Winners will be selected on Tuesday, August 11, 2015. Please only enter if you can legitimately attend.

Please please please check out the SF Craft Spirits Carnival website, and visit this page to buy tickets for Saturday or Sunday. You can go to just the spirits side of things, or do both spirits and wine. Wish I was going to be there! Have fun, you guys!

The fine print: Contests and giveaways are open only to readers age 21 and up with a U.S. mailing address. One prize per person per giveaway. We reserve the right to cancel any giveaway at our sole discretion. We are not responsible for lost, misdirected, or late entries. Not open to employees/contributors or immediate family members of Drinkhacker or Null Media employees/contributors, its affiliates, or advertising/promotion agencies and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, and agents. This offer is void wherever prohibited or restricted by national, state, or any governmental laws. We are not responsible for late, lost, or damaged prize packages. We do not use your mailing address for any other purpose than sending prizes; addresses are not kept on file. One entry per contestant — your entry is good for the length of each giveaway. Duplicate entries will disqualify the entrant.

Win One of 100 Boozy Prizes from Flaviar

Our friends at Flaviar are running a monster giveaway offering tons and tons of free booze, from a 20 bottle home bar to samples of the Yamazaki Sherry Cask whiskey — the impossible to find 2015 “whiskey of the year.”

To enter you can either buy $150 in merchandise or invite 20 friends to get a ticket. Only 1000 tickets are available and 100 prizes will be awarded, so your chances of winning are 1 in 10. The giveaway ends on Thursday, April 30 (perhaps longer, though), so hop on it now! Here’s a list of all the prizes on offer.

Prizes:
1x main prize – 20 bottle home bar, from scotch to brandy, gin, etc.
3x Annual Flaviar Subscription
6x Yamazaki sample – 45ml of best whisky of 2014
10x bundles – 2-3 themed bottles
80x tasting packs

Have fun!

American Distilling Institute Craft Spirits Competition 2015: Complete List of Winners

I helped judge some of these (though it was all blind, so I’m not entirely sure which ones), so if you don’t like the winners, you can go ahead and blame me.

Congrats to the many winners at this year’s ADI craft spirits judging! The complete winners’ list can be found after the jump.

American Distilling Institute’s 9th Annual Judging of Craft American Spirits Awards List

Best of Class – Certified Craft Distilled Spirits

Whiskey: Westland Distillery – Westland Peated American Single Malt Whiskey
Vodka: Dry Diggings Distillery – Diamond Springs Vodka
Vodka Most Neutral: Hendricks Family Distillery – Pür Class Vodka
Gin: 1769 Distillery – La Liberté Gin
Rum: Kiepersol Distillery – Pierre’s Texas Rum
Moonshine: Virginia Sweetwater Distillery – Shiners Gold 101
Brandy: Jaxon Keys Winery & Distillery – Jepson Signature Reserve Brandy
Liqueur: Louisiana Spirits – Bayou Satsuma Rum Liqueur
Other: Oregon Spirit Distillers – Wild Card Absinthe

Best of Class – Certified Craft Blended Spirits & Merchant Bottled

Whiskey: New Riff Distilling – O.K.I. Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Liqueur: C88 Holdings – Rivulet Artisan Pecan Liqueur
Cocktail Bitters: Dutch’s Spirits – ProhiBitters
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Giveaway: Win a Wine Region Print

italy mapCity Prints produces a number of prints showcasing maps of wine regions around the world, and now you can have the print of your choosing for free! (That’s a $49 value!) Just leave a comment on the post for this story on our Facebook page and we’ll pick a winner at random on April 14, 2015. (We’ll let the winner know via Facebook, so make sure your account info is up to date.) One winner will get a print of their choosing sent directly from City Prints.

If you don’t win, we’ve still got you covered: $5 off any print in the City Prints inventory if you use code BC1 at checkout.

Cheers and good luck!

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