SFWSC Announces First-Ever "Cocktail of the Year" Winner

Winning Mezcal-Based Cocktail is Selected by Experts in Blind Judging

San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) announced its inaugural Cocktail of the Year winner in late April. 2018’s honor goes to the Pamplemousse au Poivre by H. Joseph Erhmann, chosen from a selection of mezcal-based cocktails in a blind judging by the most respected palates in the industry.

Photo courtesy Allison Weber

The Pamplemousse au Poivre is a grapefruit-heavy mezcal sour with a unique Sichuan kick, comprised of Mezcal Banhez, Giffard Pamplemousse Rose (pink grapefruit liqueur), Marie Brizard Poivre a Sichuan (Sichuan pepper) liqueur, lemon juice, and grapefruit bitters.

Of the direction of 2018’s Cocktail of the Year, SFWSC Founder and Executive Director, James Beard Award-winning Anthony Dias Blue said, “Reflecting an exponentially increasing presence of mezcal-based cocktails on menus nationwide, we invited some of the world’s leading bar professionals to craft an original recipe using Mezcal Banhez, a recipient of 2017 SFWSC Double Gold and Best in Class medals.”

Photo courtesy Nikki Richter

Erhmann, proprietor of beloved San Francisco cocktail bar Elixir and the educational program Cocktail Ambassadors, was among the group of industry leaders to submit recipes. Other entrants included James Beard-honored cocktail historian, David Wondrich and Robert Gonzalez, Beam Suntory’s Luxury Portfolio mixologist. To ensure consistency, competitors each mixed four versions of their entry on judging day.

H. Joseph Erhmann holding his winning Pamplemousse au Poivre. Photo courtesy Allison Weber

Pamplemousse au Poivre

Created by H. Joseph Ehrmann, Proprietor of Elixir + Cocktail Ambassadors

2 oz Mezcal Banhez

1 oz Giffard Pamplemousse Rose liqueur

.5 oz Marie Brizard Poivre de Sichuan liqueur 

.5 oz lemon juice

1 dash grapefruit bitters

Directions: Combine ingredients in shaker and shake with ice, then strain into coupe. Garnish rim with grapefruit peel cone filled with pink peppercorns.

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