Thursday, January 6, 2011

Keep Your Fingers Crossed For This Bar Star

Roscoe Tavern bartender Shawn Hazen (right) is the Illinois winner for the Woodford Reserve/Esquire Manhattan Experience Finals. (Photo: Woodford Reserve)

Manhattans have made a triumphant comeback and no one's more excited than Woodford Reserve bourbon and Esquire.

That's why they teamed up last fall to conduct the second-annual Manhattan Experience contest nationwide to search for the ultimate cocktail.

Contestants were charged to create their own version, including in Chicago, where Roscoe's Tavern bartender Shawn Hazen took first place at an event at The Violet Hour. His cocktail?! The Portuguese Manhattan, which included ruby port. That sounds rich and delish and an ideal after-dinner drink.

Hazen's cocktail will be up against 10 others during the finals in New York at the Standard Hotel on Jan. 10. The winner will be crowned Master of the Manhattan, and all 11 finalists will be featured in a Woodford Reserve ad in Esquire's February issue.

Here's Hazen's recipe for the Portuguese Manhattan:

2 oz. Woodford Reserve
1 oz. Croft Ruby Port
Splash of Apple Cider
Garnish with peel of Red Delicious Apple

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