Castle & Key Cocktail Competition to Bring out Master Mixologists

Falling Through the Fields by Natalie Newberry with Castle & Key Gin won last year's Cocktail Competition.
Falling Through the Fields by Natalie Newberry with Castle & Key Gin won last year's Cocktail Competition.

Next week’s Castle & Key Cocktail Competition promises a master class in mixology, with top bartenders competing to see who can best showcase Castle & Key Restoration Release Gin in their drink.

The competition, which will be held Thursday, July 25th from 5:30pm to 9:00pm, will feature ten bartenders from both Kentucky and Tennessee. In addition to being able to taste all ten amazing cocktails, guests will be treated to heavy hors d’oeuvres, live music, and a gift bag valued at $75. Guests will also have a chance to vote for the People’s Choice Award.

This year’s theme is New Classics, tasking competitors to put a modern twist on traditional recipes. Judges for the competition include Seth Thompson, publisher and co-founder of The Bourbon Review, Molly Wellman, the Queen of all things cocktails, and Logan Griffin of Blackberry Farms. The grand prize for the winning cocktail? A trip for two to Austin City Limits festival this October.

Last year’s Cocktail Competition winner was Natalie Newberry, of Henley in Nashville, who took home the gold with her cocktail “Falling Through a Field.” As the name suggests, she used seasonal (and unusual) ingredients fresh from the garden. If the creativity in the recipe below doesn’t inspire to you to get your tickets for this year’s event, we don’t know what will.

Falling Through a Field

Muddle two fresh green beans with:

2 dashes Pernod absinthe
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz Pineau Des Charentes
1 1/2 oz Castle and Key gin

Shake & double strain over layered ice cube into rocks glass.

Layered ice cube:

Juice one and a half pounds of green beans, then pour through Shinwa. Stir in dash of salt, and half an ounce of lemon juice. Pour mixture about half an inch deep into 2×2 ice mold. Freeze until set. Pull ice from freezer, then pour water about half an inch deep. Freeze until set. Repeat with green bean mixture once more, then again with water.