Taking the Long Road

Cocktail Competition

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Overview

Long Road Distillers is proud to be the first distillery in the history of the city of Grand Rapids. Our take-no-shortcuts approach is the guiding principle in crafting our spirits and in developing our cocktails. When crafting our spirits, it is paramount to create each of them with honesty, integrity and transparency. We don’t source spirits, we source ingredients!

The Taking the Long Road Cocktail Competition is a platform to increase bartender’s knowledge by providing education about what makes Long Road spirits so unique and authentic while enabling them to showcase their talents to the community through the creation of inspired cocktails. Long Road Distillers is looking for the bartender who embodies the philosophy of Taking the Long Road and doing things the right way! And, they’ll have a shot at winning the $500 cash prize!

The first Taking the Long Road Bartender is a master of their craft. Someone who has extensive knowledge of their ingredients (especially Long Road spirits) and who knows how to artfully craft a well balanced yet bold cocktail. And they are a bartender who knows service, guest experience and presentation are as valuable as the cocktail in the glass.

The Competition

The competition will take part in 2 Phases: An Open Entry Period and the Live Competition.

 

Phase 1: Bartenders shall submit to a panel a detailed cocktail recipe and cocktail name, color photo of the prepared drink, tasting notes and a brief written story about how the inspiration, development and profile of their final cocktail were crafted by Taking the Long Road.

Phase 2: Finalists will be selected from the submitted cocktails. Each finalist will be invited to the Repeal Day (December 5) Taking the Long Road Competition to be held at Long Road Distillers. Each finalist will then bring their cocktails to life for the live audience and esteemed judging panel. A winner will be selected as the Taking the Long Road Bartending Champion. 

Entrant Qualifications

  1. Bartenders must be a current member of the United State Bartending Guild – Grand Rapids Chapter – JOIN HERE!
  2. Bartenders are only allowed one entry per person
  3. Entries must be submitted by Saturday, November 19!
  4. Bartenders must be available to participate in the live competition on Monday, December 5.

The Rules

  1. Create a cocktail inspired by Taking the Long Road
  2. Name your cocktail
  3. Your cocktail must contain at minimum 1.5 ounces (oz) of any Long Road Distillers product currently available in distribution
  4. You can use up to 5 total ingredients including bitters/tinctures/foams/etc
  5. Submit a color photograph of your cocktail
  6. Describe your cocktail and its inspiration, development and profile as it relates to Taking the Long Road
  7. Provide a precise recipe for the making of your cocktail including exact and correct measurements
  8. Homemade ingredients are acceptable and encouraged however exact recipes and specifications must also be provided with your cocktail recipe (so finalist cocktails can be replicated in a featured cocktail menu after the competition – with credit given to finalists).
  1. 25% Originality and Innovation: We are looking for cocktails that embody the spirit of Taking the Long Road and are created thoughtfully and with intentionality.  
  2. 25% Story, Description and Selling of the Drink: Tell us the story of the cocktail, how you came up with the recipe, why you gave it a particular name, what inspired you and why without having tasted the drink you and your cocktail should be selected to compete in the finals?
  3. 25%  Expression of the Spirit: How is Long Road utilized in the cocktail? Is the spirit the star of the drink? We are looking for cocktails that highlight the quality of the spirits utilized and are both enjoyable and memorable for their tastes and smells. Tell us why Long Road made your drink memorable.
  4. 25% Photograph and Presentation: The visual appearance of the cocktail, how it is presented to the judges, glassware, garnish and appearance.
  5. 6-8 Finalists will be selected based upon scoring of their submitted drinks to compete at Long Road Distillers on December 5.
  1. Prepare your cocktail inspired by Taking the Long Road
  2. Share with the judges the name of your cocktail
  3. Describe your cocktail and its inspiration, development and profile as it relates to Taking the Long Road
  4. Explain why you selected the Long Road Distillers spirit which you utilized and why/how it stands out or is highlighted in your cocktail
  5. Tell us about the ingredients in your drink
  6. Prepare a full drink for each of the four judges
  7. Upon completion of drinks for the judges a team of support bartenders will help you prepare your cocktail to be batched into sample portions for audience members in attendance
  1. 25% Originality, Innovation and Inspiration: We are looking for cocktails that embody the spirit of Taking the Long Road and are created thoughtfully and with intentionality.
  2. 50% Taste, Aroma and Expression of the Spirit: How is Long Road utilized in the cocktail? Is the spirit the star of the drink? We are looking for cocktails that highlight the quality of the spirits utilized and are both enjoyable and memorable for their tastes and smells.
  3. 25% Presentation, Performance and Hospitality: The visual appearance of the cocktail, its presentation to the judges and the performance and execution of the bartender in making the drink for the judges and audience.
  4. The winner will be selected based upon 80% scoring by the judges total and 20% for the cocktail receiving the most votes from the audience.

 

Full Rules Packet can be found here.

The Prize

The winner will receive the title of the Taking the Long Road Bartending Champion and will be promoted in all media, both traditional and social as such. The winner will receive a $500 cash prize. 

Each finalist will receive a bottle of a Long Road Distillers spirit of their choice.

Meet the Finalists!

Nate Cohn

Heffron Hot Toddy

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Nate Cohn

Maureen Di Virgilio

Bitter Apple

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Maureen Di Virgilio

Rob Hanks

The Sandlot

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Rob Hanks

Duncan McCargar

Cytherea Sour

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Duncan McCargar

Rick Muschiana

A Walk in the Woods

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Rick Muschiana

Zac Williams

Dwight & Wendy

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Zac Williams

Meet the judges

Dave Kwiatkowski

Detroit Optimist Society

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Dave Kwiatkowski

TAMMY COXEN

MICHIGAN RADIO

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TAMMY COXEN

Joe Boomgaard

REVUE West Michigan

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Joe Boomgaard

Adrianne Martin

RNDC Michigan

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Adrianne Martin

Rachael Ruiz

WOOD TV8

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Rachael Ruiz

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