Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Toma Tequila Competition @ Ortega 120

Last week three finalists competed in the championship round of the Toma Tequila competition at Redondo Beach Mexican restaurant and bar, Ortega 120, for the honor of having their drink featured on the menu, and a cash prize.

A distinguished panel of judges including Josh Lurie of Food GPS, Hadley Tomicki of Grub Street LA, Carole Dixson of Feast LA aned Alan Kropf of Mutineer Magazine tasted the tequila cocktails prepared by the three finalists, Christopher day, Damon Hewlett, Nancy Kwon. The audience was also invited to sample each of the three contenders and the audience winner was Nancy Kwon's Naranja Dorada, which included orange bitters, kumquat marmalade and blood orange juice.

Photo above is of the finalists & the judges; photo below is of winner Christopher Day.

After deliberating, the unanimous selection of the judges was Christopher Day's "River Tam." (Recipe below) His drink is now on the restaurant's cocktail menu and was a focus of the Cinco de Mayo celebrations there. All three finalists were also invited to attend an upcoming Mutineer Magazine event.

"River Tam" By Christopher Day

1 ½ oz tequila (preferably anejo)
½ a lime juiced (~3/4 oz)
½ oz habanero simple syrup*
3 small slices fresh ginger root
Club Soda

Pulverize two slices of ginger in habanero simple syrup*, followed by adding in the tequila and squeezing in the lime. Add ice and shake. Pour into a lowball glass filled with ice (with a strainer if you don’t want to chew on bits of ginger). Top it off with club soda and give it a quick stir. Garnish with a wheel of lime, if desired.

*(1 cup water to 1 cup sugar; 4 fresh habanero peppers, stemmed and sliced in half)

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