Somms Under Fire Cocktail Challenge

Somms Under Fire Past Cocktail Challenges

2018 Somms Under Fire Citadelle Gin de France Cocktail Challenge

Citadelle Gin de France

The 2018 Somms Under Fire Cocktail Challenge featured Citadelle Gin de France. Citadelle gin is produced in the South-West of France, the birthplace of another fine spirit. As it was produced in the 17th century, Citadelle gin is distilled in small copper pot stills with a naked flame. Using centuries old know-how passed down through five generations of master distillers, Alexandre Gabriel and the Pierre Ferrand cellar master have brought back to market a complex, refined and elegant gin.

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"BK I Slay" by Jill Zimorski

Inspired by Beyonce Knowles' "Formation"

Ingredients for 3 oz portion:

  • 1.5 oz Citadelle Gin de France
  • 0.75 oz Honey "Scotch" Syrup
  • 0.75 oz Lemon Juice

In a Boston Shaker, combine Gin, Scotch Syrup and Lemon Juice with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into coupe/up glass

Ingredients for Honey "Scotch" Syrup 9 oz portion:

  • 8 oz Water
  • 2 Bags TAZO Organic Darjeeling Tea
  • 0.5 oz Fresh Ginger
  • 4.5 oz 365 Organic Mtn. Forest "Amber" Honey
  • 6 Seeds 365 Organic Whole Cardamom
  • 6 Cloves 365 Organic Whole Cloves
  • 0.025 oz Colgin Liquid Smoke (Hickory)
  • 0.5 tsp. Celtic Applewood Smoked Sea Salt
  • 20 Beans Organic Blue Bonnet Whole Coffee Beans
  • 0.025 oz Maine Coast Sea Seasonings Kelp Granules

In a saucepan, bring 1 C (8 fl. oz) of water to a boil and then add 2 TAZO Darjeeling tea bags, remove from heat & steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags promptly after 5 minutes. Add Cardamom, Cloves, 20 whole coffee beans, 1/2 teaspoon smoked sea salt, 2 pinches kelp granules and 6 drops liquid smoke & 2 "coins" fresh ginger root - (2 mm thick slices of the root - resemble the size and shape of coins). Put saucepan over low heat and steep for 15 minutes. Strain out beans, spices & ginger. While still warm, combine 4.5 oz of (strained) "tea" with 4.5 oz of honey. Stir till well combined. Add 3 additional drops of liquid smoke & stir to combine cool & bottle.

Ingredients for Fresh Lemon Juice 6 oz portion:

  • 5 Fresh Lemons

Cut lemon in half; squeeze in hand or crank juicer; strain out pulp and seeds.

GARNISH: Lemon Peel, trimmed into neat rectangle, rough edges removed. Twist peel, rub gently around rim of glass and add to cocktail, hooked over the rim of glass so it is partially submerged into cocktail. Smoked Salt. If sea salt container has built in grinder, then two small turns of grinder over each full cocktail; tiny pinch of ground salt over tasting portions. If container does not have built-in grinder, then sprinkle 3-5 flakes of sea salt on surface of full sized cocktail. For smaller tasting portions, one granule/flake salt per 1 oz portion.

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"Paul Revere" by Mick Descamps

Inspired by the Beastie Boys' "Paul Revere"

Ingredients for 3oz portion:

  • 2.0 oz Citadelle Gin de France
  • .50 oz Spiced Simple Syrup
  • .25 oz Fresh Lemon
  • .25 oz Fresh Orange

Drink is built in a shaker without ice. All ingredients are added first and then ice is added to the shaker. The drink is vigorously shaken and strained over an ice-filled rocks glassed.

Ingredients for spiced simple syrup:

  • 1/4 Cup Fennel Seeds
  • 10 Black Peppercorns
  • 40 Cloves Allspice
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Almonds
  • 2/3 Cup Water
  • 2/3 Cup Cane Sugar
  • Zest of 1/2 Lemon
  • Zest of 1/2 Orange

The fennel seeds, peppercorns, allspice, and almonds are all separately toasted in a skillet---high heat for a couple minutes each. Take care to keep the pan moving, as the goal is to activate oils in the spices and not burn or heavily toast. Once spices are toasted, add them to a mixing bowl and reserve. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and cook until sugar is fully dissolved. Pour the still simmering mixture of simple syrup into the bowl containing the previously toasted spices. Add lemon and orange zest. Leave mixture to steep for 30 minutes. Strain, removing all spices and citrus. Reserve.

GARNISH: A flamed orange zest is the garnish which is ignited over the drink and expressed around the rim of the glass.

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"Summer Derby" by Nick Davis

Inspired by the Isley Brothers' "Summer Breeze"

Ingredients for 3oz portion:

  • 1.5 oz Citadelle Gin de France
  • 0.5 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • 0.5 oz Honey Syrup (2:1)
  • 0.5 oz Water

Shake with ice, double strain, coupe glass.

GARNISH: ground coriander powder

2017 Somms Under Fire Pisco Porton Mosto Verde Cocktail Challenge

Pisco Porton Mosto Verde
2017 Somms Under Fire Cocktail Challenge

The 2017 Somms Under Fire Cocktail Challenge featured Pisco Porton Mosto Verde and challenged contestants to create a cocktail presenting a personal narrative with their selected ingredients, style and favorite song associated with creating this cocktail.

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"Brass Monkey Gland" by Jill Zimorski

Inspired by the Beastie Boy’s “Brass Monkey”

Ingredients for 3 oz portion:

  • 1 oz. Pisco Portón Mosto Verde
  • 1 ¼ oz. Lakewood Organic Carrot Juice
  • ½ oz. Spiced Rooibos Syrup
  • ¼ oz. Lemon Juice

In a Boston Shaker, combine Pisco, Carrot Juice, Spiced Rooibos Syrup and Lemon Juice with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into coupe/up glass.

GARNISH: Lemon Peel, trimmed into neat rectangle, rough edges removed. Twist peel, rub gently around rim of glass and add to cocktail, hooked over the rim of glass so it is partially submerged into cocktail.

Spiced Rooibos Syrup:

For 8 oz. portion

  • 8 oz. Water
  • 4 bags NUMI Rooibos Tea
  • .5 oz. Fresh Ginger
  • 8 oz. White Sugar
  • 15 seeds Whole Cardamom

In a saucepan, bring 1 C (8 fl. oz.) Water to boil and then add 4 NUMI Rooibos tea bags and steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags. Add 1 C (8 oz.) white sugar and stir until dissolved. If necessary, put saucepan over medium heat to aid sugar dissolution.

When sugar is fully dissolved, add 4 “coins” fresh ginger root – (2 mm thick slices of the root – resemble the size and shape of coins) & 15 whole cardamom seeds. Put saucepan over low heat and steep for 15 minutes. Strain out seeds and ginger, cool and bottle.

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"Pisco Thyme (Gonna Give it to Ya!)" by Hai Tran

Inspired by Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk

Ingredients for 3 oz portion:

  • 1 oz Pisco Porton “Mosto Verde”
  • ¼ oz Lemon Juice
  • ½ oz Cucumber-Thyme Simple Syrup
  • ¼ oz Club Soda (Q or Fever Tree)

Add Pisco, Lemon Juice, Cucumber-Thyme Simple Syrup into cocktail glass. Add ice and stir. Strain over fresh ice in rocks glass and top off with club soda.

Garnish: Peel three ribbons of cucumber. Roll ribbons into cylinders, with one filled with thyme. Place on cocktail pick with the cucumber wrapped thyme being in the middle.

Cucumber-Thyme Simple Syrup:

Yield: 1.5 cups

  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ½ of cucumber (sliced)
  • 1 cup of Thyme Sprigs
  • Splash of Pisco Porton

Combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil. Take off heat and add cucumber and thyme. Let this steep while water cools down (approximately 10-15 minutes). Taste to make sure the thyme and cucumber don’t make the syrup bitter. Double strain and add a splash of Pisco to fortify.

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"Sugar Magnolia" by Eric Crane

Inspired by the Grateful Dead's "Sugar Magnolia"

Ingredients:

  • .5 oz Agave
  • 1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1.5 oz Pisco Porton Mosto Verde
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • Lemon Twist

Shake ingredients over fresh ice. Strain into a coupe. Drink many.

2016 Somms Under Fire Chopin Vodka Cocktail Challenge

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The 2016 Somms Under Fire Cocktail Challenge featured Chopin Vodka and challenged contestants to create a cocktail that showcased both their personality and the vodka. The recipes for the three delicious cocktails can be found below.

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Under the Boardwalk by Advanced Sommelier Luke Boland

  • 2 oz. bay leaf infused Chopin Vodka (recipe follows)
  • 1 oz. grapefruit syrup (Recipe Follows)
  • 1 handful of fresh cranberries
  • small pinch of celery seed (like 6 grains for a 3oz serving, maybe for the large batch, no more than 1/8 teaspoon sicne they're potent)
  • Garnish: 1 candied grapefruit segment (recipe follows)

Shake everything together, making sure to shake long enough to crush the cranberries against the ice. This is mostly for color and just a little tart fruit flavor. Double strain and serve. Garnish with the fruit segment on a skewer.

Bay infused Chopin: Put one bottle of Chopin in a sauce pan with 6 bay leaves. Turn on the heat to the lowest setting, the goal is to get warm but not encourage evaporation. It should never reach a simmer. Allow to steep warm for 20 minutes, and then remove the leaves. If more bottles are used, only add 1 more bay leaf for each additional bottle.

Candied Grapefruit: Cut supremes of grapefruit segments. After syrup comes to a simmer, pour it over the grapefruit segments, and then allow cooling for 5 minutes. Remove segments from syrup, and keep the syrup for making the drink. Place segments on parchment paper, top each segment with a small pinch of Maldon sea salt and bake at 300 degrees in a convection oven for 15 minutes, then at 200 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from sheet when done

Grapefruit Syrup: The ratio here is 2.5 oz by volume to 1oz sugar by weight. Scale as needed for volume. Combine these two ingredients in a sauce pan and just bring to a simmer, then remove from heat.

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Chauncey's Dagger by Advanced Sommelier Blake Leja

  • 1 oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 oz. Soda
  • 4 strawberries
  • Mint leaves
  • A dash of lemon juice

Muddle/mash simple syrup, strawberries, mint leaves, and vodka in a glass. Add soda to shaker. Shake all ingredients, strain into rocks glass, and top off with a dash of lemon juice and ice. Garnish with lemon wheel.

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Changes by Certified Sommelier Ryan Robinson

  • 1.5 oz. Chopin Vodka
  • 1 oz. Sweet Potato-Cardamom Syrup
  • .5 oz. Ginger Beer

Served over ice with a 'Apple Pie Slice' garnish

Mix and shake vodka and sweet potato-cardamom syrup, pour over ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish

***Sweet-Potato Syrup:

Peel and dice one whole sweet potato. Bake with 1tbl spoon of honey at 400 for 15-20 minutes. While potato is baking; bring to a boil 12oz of white vinegar, 4oz of water 4oz of honey and 2 whole cracked cardamom pods. Remove potato from oven when cubes are soft. Add to boiling vinegar. As mixture is boiled, mash the sweet potatoes.When a syrup consistency is achieved, removed from heat, strain and press through strainer.

Total prep time 30-40 minutes.

2015 Somms Under Fire TIO PEPE Sherry Cocktail Challenge

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SUF 2015 Cocktail Challenge

The 2015 Somms Under Fire Cocktail Challenge featured Tio Pepe Fino Sherry and challenged contestants to create a cocktail that showcased both their personality and the sherry. The recipes for the three delicious results can be found below.

Andalucian Punch

Andalucian Punch by Advanced Sommelier Luke Boland

  • 1.5oz Tio Pepe Fino Sherry
  • .75 oz Citrus Syrup (Recipe Follows)
  • .75 oz Strawberry purée with rosemary (Recipe Follows)

Combine all ingredients. Shake and strain into a coup. Garnish by squeezing orange twist over the drink and placing the orange twist into the coup.

Citrus Syrup; Yield: 16 oz (Yields 21 Drinks)

  • 4 Oranges
  • 4 Lemons
  • ¼ Cup Sugar

Juice the oranges and lemons. Strain the juice into a small saucepan and add the sugar. Heat just enough to dissolve the sugar into the juice, then strain, cool, and store.

Strawberry Puree; Yield: 10 oz (Yields 13 Drinks)

  • 16 Oz. Strawberries
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 Sprig of Rosemary

Remove the stems and cores from the strawberries. Purée the strawberries in a blender. Strain the liquid into a small saucepan. Add salt and sugar and stir to dissolve. Add rosemary and heat just until the mixture comes to a simmer. Remove the pot from the heat and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture, cool, and store.

Learn more about Luke Boland.

Rio Peachy

Rio Peachy by Advanced Sommelier Eric Crane

  • 2 oz Tio Pepe Fino Sherry
  • .5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • .5 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth (Blanc)
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Served "Up"

Combine all ingredients over Fresh Ice in a Boston Shaker. Shake correctly and strain into chilled rocks glasses. No garnish.

Learn more about Eric Crane.

Open Sesame Cocktail

Open Sesame by Advanced Sommelier James Watkins - Cocktail Challenge Winner

The Open Sesame, crafted by Advanced Sommelier James Watkins, was the winner of the three cocktails featured in the 2015 Somms Under Fire Tio Pepe Sherry Cocktail Challenge.

  • 2 Oz Tio Pepe Fino
  • 3/4 oz Honey Ginger Syrup (Recipe Below)
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice

Combine in shaker and add ice. Shake vigorously, strain into a rocks glass with ice. Pop two sage leaves into glass. Finish with 2 droplets of sesame oil. Enjoy responsibly.

Honey Ginger Syrup recipe:

  • 8 oz Honey
  • 2 Oz Water
  • 2 Oz chopped fresh ginger

Bring mixture to a boil, whisking gently. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain into an attractive glass of your choosing. Allow to cool before using.

Learn more about James Watkins.

2014 Somms Under Fire SakéMoto & SakéOne "Saktail" Challenge

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Saké Blossom by Advanced Sommelier Paula de Pano

  • 2 oz. SakéOne
  • 1/2 egg white
  • 1/2 oz. Ginger Syrup (Recipe Below)
  • 1/4 oz. Apple Essence (Recipe Below)

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients. Shake vigorously until foamy. Strain in a cocktail glass.

Apple Essence

Yield: 6 oz.

  • Juice of 2 green apples (Granny Smith)
  • Juice of 1 lime

Combine, place in a squeeze bottle.

Ginger Syrup

Yield: 8 oz.

  • 2 3-inch pieces fresh ginger, crushed
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water

Combine ingredients in a small pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool, strain, and transfer in a squeeze bottle.

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A Jaded Encounter by Advanced Sommelier James Watkins

  • 1.5 oz. SakéMoto
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. kiwi juice
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 basil leaves

Combine in a shaker tin, pop leaves in palm, shake vigorously. Double strain into an attractive coupe of your choice. Garnish with a kiwi ice cube and a basil leaf.

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Mizu by Advanced Sommelier Nathan Prater

  • 7 cubes of ice
  • 1/2 oz. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 oz. "Vermouth" (Recipe Below)
  • 2 oz. SakéMoto

In a mixing glass, add seven cubes of ice. Pour rice wine vinegar onto the ice and stir to "coat" cubes. Pour off the rice wine vinegar, keeping the ice cubes. Add "Vermouth" to cubes and stir to "coat" cubes. Add SakéMoto and stir until well chilled. Strain contents into a thoroughly chilled coup. Garnish with a large lemon peel.

Citrus Water

  • Citrus peels of two lemons and one orange
  • 4 cups water

Bring water to a boil. Add lemon and orange peels. Keep at a controlled "roiling" boil for 10 minutes, then simmer for 20 minutes, stirring as needed. Pour citrus water through a fine strainer. Discard citrus peels and allow citrus water to cool to room temperature. The mixture should reduce to 2.5 cups.

"Vermouth"

  • 3/4 cup Citrus Water (Recipe Above)
  • 1/2 cup SakéMoto
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar (Marukan Organic)
  • 1/3 cup clover honey
  • 2 citrus peels of orange
  • 1 Tablespoon dried lavender

Combine Citrus Water, SakéMoto, and rice vinegar in a medium saucepan at room temperature. Stir gently to combine with a metal spoon. Apply heat with a medium flame until the mixture simmers. Stir in honey until completely dissolved. Add citrus peels of orange and dried lavender. Simmer for 10 minutes under a medium flame. Reduce flame to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to cool, then pour all into a medium sized plastic container. Allow to macerate for 3 hours. After 3 hours, pour "Vermouth" through a fine strainer into a plastic sauce bottle. Discard the lavender and citrus peels. Note: "Vermouth" should have a distinct bitter-orange-sweet-sour taste.

2013 Somms Under Fire Cocktail Challenge

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Lechuza by Certified Sommelier Scott Ota

  • 1 oz Espolon Blanco Tequila
  • 1 oz Donn's Lillet Blanc #2
  • 1/2 oz agave syrup
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 dash cinnamon tincture
  • zest of grapefruit garnish

Combine all ingredients (except garnish) over fresh cubed ice and shake hard for 15-20 seconds. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish.

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Seven Bells by Advanced Sommelier Bill Elsey

  • 1oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
  • 1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
  • 3/4 oz Martinez tawny port
  • 1/4 oz honey syrup
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • orange peel garnish

Combine all ingredients (except garnish) over fresh cubed ice and shake hard for 15-20 seconds. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish.

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Surfer Rosa by Advanced Sommelier Nathan Prater

  • 1 1/2 oz No. 209 gin
  • 1/2 oz Aperol
  • 1/2 oz Simple syrup
  • 3/4 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1 dash celery bitters

Combine all ingredients over fresh cubed ice and shake hard for 15-20 seconds. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish.

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