I was fortunate enough to be a judge in the American Harvest Bartenders’ Challenge at City Roots urban farm in Columbia, S.C.
It was great fun for me and the other judges to be able to sample some creations from Columbia-area bartenders featuring American Harvest vodka. After some serious deliberation, the winner of that contest (taking first and second place in the judges’ category) was Kristian Niemi of Bourbon and Rosso. Niemi’s Hayride (a mixture of pecan-infused American Harvest, Strohe Jagertee, and a syrup of Lazy Magnolia Jefferson Stout, maple syrup and orange bitters) took first place and his Adrian Balbos (rosemary-infused American Harvest, cherry liqueur, cherry preserves and Fizz 66) placed second. Joshua Streetman of Motor Supply won the people’s choice vote with his Harvest Aviation: American Harvest, Shady Grove Farms lemons and homemade maraschino cherries.
Anyway, after the imbibing was done, I asked bartenders Olando Patterson, manager of Goatfeathers, and Lauren Tebeau, bar manager and event coordinator at The Oak Table if they would share their recipes for some holiday cocktails, which can be found on C2.