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Tales of the Cocktail 2012 Official Drink Contest

on 28/02/12 at 4:29 pm

Booze News

Create Your Signature Truly Old Fashioned!

Tales of the Cocktail invites you to submit a winning recipe for the Official Cocktail Competition of the 10th Annual Tales of the Cocktail.

For our tenth anniversary, we are shaking things up with our annual cocktail competition. If you think your skills are up to the challenge, we would like you to create an Old Fashioned that we can use as our official cocktail at this year’s event.

By definition the Old Fashioned can be made with any spirit. The cocktail is essentially referencing making the cocktail in an “old fashioned” way or by using the original definition of a cocktail: any spirit, sugar, water and bitters.

For the 2012 Tales of the Cocktail official cocktail competition, we invite you to create an original Old Fashioned drink using the original basic ingredients as your template.

Robert Hess, American Cocktail expert, states, “using the “definition” of the cocktail is a good model for this, which also provides a lot of flexibility.”

  • Spirit: Any spirit with at least 40% alcohol content
  • Sugar: Any type of sweetener (eg. Sugar, honey, cordial, flavored syrup, etc.)
  • Water: Could be just through ice melt-age, or as added ingredient. Can be flavored or otherwise not “straight” water.
  • Bitters: Any bitters that are easily available
  • Garnish or Fruit: Can be muddled if contestant chooses to do so

Obviously the ancillary ingredients that you choose to work with are going to dictate which spirit you use. This is paramount when creating any Old Fashioned cocktail. I want you to be extremely cognizant of pairing the ingredients you choose to work with the botanicals of your chosen spirit.

While we invite inventiveness and creativity, drinks must also be delicious. Sounds odd, but how many “cerebral” cocktails have we all had which “read well” on paper, but far too often, just aren’t very good?

Criteria to keep in mind:

  • Drink must be delicious
  • Can you actually finish it?
  • Is it delicious enough to re-order?
  • Drink should stay true to the overall concept of an Old Fashioned

Let the games begin!


  1. Competition is open to any bartender currently working in the bar, restaurant or spirits industry.
  2. Each participant shall use the official entry form posted below
  3. All recipes shall be original creations.
  4. Recipes shall be expressed in ounces, drops, or dashes and scaled for a single serving.
  5. Your cocktail must utilize at least one of the sponsor spirit brands.
  6. All ingredients utilized should be expected to be available to most bars or easily acquired/made.
  7. All ingredients should be available year-round, so nothing seasonal. And all ingredients should be obtainable — or should be able to be made from scratch — without undue difficulty or expense anywhere within the continental US.
  8. Cocktails made with inappropriate ingredients will be disqualified with determination of what constitutes an inappropriate ingredient up to the discretion of the staff of Tales of the Cocktail and the judging committee.
  9. Cocktails will be judged on Originality, Use of product, Taste, and Presentation.
  10. You do not need to be present to compete or win.
  11. First prize winner will receive $1,250 cash and be the “Official Cocktail” of Tales of the Cocktail 2012
  12. Winning recipes will be featured with photography in the Mutineer Magazine and Mutineer online publication
  13.  Winning recipe will be featured in the 2012 Tales of the Cocktail E-book
  14. Winning recipe will be featured at www.TalesoftheCocktail.com and at Tales of the Cocktail 2012


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