Experience Cognac rolled through L.A. last week and six bartenders competed for prizes and a chance to win a trip to Chicago. Other prizes included a full scholarship to BAR and a trip to France by entering the quiz on the Experience Cognac website.
Mindy Kucan of Beaker & Flask (Portland, OR), Daniel Djang of Thirsty in L.A. and Ron Dollete of Lush Angeles served as judges.
The throwdown was at Cana where their own Danielle Crouch first went up against Edwin Cruz of Tlapazola. Bartenders were asked to use cognac as their main spirit but they had free rein to use anything else on the bar. It made me laugh when I saw the Bud Light Lime. Unfortunately (fortunately) no one used that particular item.
Guests were invited to try the various cognacs available. The Louis Royer was my favorite. Before the competition started, four cocktails were offered. I had a chance to taste some but adopted Mon Amie as my favorite of the night. I believe it and the Suffering Bastard have been on or is still on the current Cana menu. But you can probably ask for the first two as they are classics.
Thunder-Pierre Ferrand amber, whole egg, cane syrup, cayenne
Quaker-Ferrand cognac, straight rye, pomegranate, lemon
Mon Amie-Premiere Cru cognac, rye, Campari, Carpano Antica
Suffering Bastard– Plymouth gin, Ferrand cognac, ginger, lime, bitters
Then Brent Falco from Cole’s competed against Joe Brooke from Next Door Lounge. While I enjoyed the look of Joe’s coconut cocktail, Brent’s cocktail was loved by all.
The competition was open to all so the next two who competed aren’t working bartenders per se. One used to be in the hospitality business and the other is a Real de Mexico Tequila rep.
It was then no surprise that Danielle and Brent competed against each other. After some deliberation, judges announced Brent was going to Chicago. Congratulations, Brent!
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