Last weekend, local bartenders made a mass exodus across the state to Kansas City’s Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival, where they indulged in educational seminars, high-stakes competitions and the occasional raucous reunion with fellow Midwest mixologists. We can’t speak for all the events of the weekend, but when it came to the cocktail competitions, our STL bartenders made us proud.
In a test of the ultimate bartending talents—who can make the best drinks the quickest—Justin Cardwell of BC’s Kitchen, Matt Obermark of The Agrarian, Jayne Pellegrino of Blood and Sand and Kyle Mathis of Taste brought home the grand prize from Midwest Melee, a competition that pitted the four against teams from Kansas City, Denver and Chicago.
And in the grand finale of the weekend’s festivities, The Paris of the Plains Bartending Competition, Sanctuaria‘s Mandi Kowalski tied for fan favorite with her creation, Her Majesty’s Pleasure.
“Some of the folks in KC described this drink as a delicate summertime mulled wine,” says Kowalski. “Despite its lovely magenta hue, it managed to win over many of the men in attendance at the competition. Judge and Master Sommelier Doug Frost summed up the drink by saying, ‘So rarely does her majesty’s pleasure also equate to his majesty’s pleasure.’”
Mandi shared the recipe for this crowd-pleasing concoction, so you can wow your friends with her award-winning cocktail.