It was a short and sweet contest, but each of the entries for this month's Halloween cocktail contest are winners in my view. As contests go, however, we have to choose one winner and for this round I have chosen Travis Fourmont's rather bold Skeleton Key recipe.
In the cocktail, Fourmont builds a highball of Corner Creek Bourbon, St. Germain, and lemon juice, tops it off with ginger beer and a overtly healthy dose of Angostura bitters. I call this drink bold because those first three ingredients are nice and tame, gentle even, then the ginger beer pops it up a notch with that snappy spice only found in this ingredient. However, it is that bloody mess on the top that brings this drink over the top. He adds 8 full dashes of the renowned bitters and the sit on top of the drink like a bloody, gory mess, dripping down into the sweet and spicy brew. It is one of those drinks that logically wouldn't work because we are so used to 1-2 dashes of bitters, but once you get a taste of it all logic is thrown out. I think it is the bourbon and ginger beer base that make this work as well as it does.
Apparently, I am not the only one who likes this drink. Formount tells us in his submission that this is one of the hottest drinks at Michael Symon's Roast in Detroit. He's the head bartender there, so if you are in the neighborhood have him mix this up for you. Congratulations, Travis!
Granted, there were three entries in this short-run contest, so choosing the finalists was a breeze. That does not mean that the other two drinks are any less impressive.
The KMKCreatives submission of the Poison Punch has monster bash written all over it. This smoky cauldron of a cocktail is too much fun and if you are thinking punch bowl for your party, this would be a great candidate. It's a mix of red wine, amaretto, peach and green apple schnapps, blackberry brandy and a variety of complimentary fruits and soda. The key to this drink's presentation is nothing less than dry ice and they included sound advice for safely serving any drink with the fog-inducing ingredient.
The other drink comes from Medusa and is called Swamp Water. I enjoy that she shared this Wisconsin favorite because it is a glass full of fruity fun with an eerie look. The green drink uses Midori, peach schnapps, and lemon-lime soda with sunken black raspberry liqueur. You wouldn't think that a drink that looks like that tastes good, but it does. In fact, it tastes great and I recommend everyone mix up some Swamp Water this season.
Thank you all for playing along. I will have a new contest soon. Happy Halloween!
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