Louis Royer Cognac Announces Grand Prize Winners of Its 2nd "Show Me the Proof!" High Proof Cognac Cocktail Competition: Sother Teague (Amor y Amargo) and Pamela Wiznitzer (The Dead Rabbit)

Joshua Perez (Middle Branch) and Robert Krueger (Extra Fancy) Win Second and Third Places Respectively in Competition That Celebrated Louis Royer "Force 53" VSOP Cognac

Sep 30, 2013, 15:05 ET from Hanna Lee Communications, Inc.

NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Louis Royer Cognac, an iconic Cognac house dating to 1853 and led by the fifth generation of its founding family, today announces the winners of the 2nd "Show Me the Proof!" High Proof Cognac Cocktail Competition. The Grand Prize was a tie between Sother Teague (Amor y Amargo) and Pamela Wiznitzer (The Dead Rabbit).  They each won an all-expense paid trip to France, along with a guest. 

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130930/FL88717 )

The competition was hosted by Hanna Lee Communications, Inc., an award-winning agency specialized in spirits, food, wine, and lifestyle PR and social media marketing.  It celebrated Louis Royer "Force 53" VSOP Cognac, one of the highest proof Cognacs on the U.S. market that has helped ignite the overproof cocktail trend.

"This year's competition was particularly intense and I salute the winners for their ingenuity, finesse and genuine respect for Louis Royer 'Force 53' VSOP Cognac," says Jerome Royer, Master Selector, Louis Royer Cognac, and a competition judge.  "We are delighted that American bartenders have taken to 'Force 53' and are creating amazing cocktails with it that can be enjoyed year-round, as the competition clearly demonstrated."

Second and third place winners were Joshua Perez (Middle Branch) and Robert Krueger (Extra Fancy) respectively, with a cash prize of $1,000 each.

The final competition was held at CHERRY, a sultry Japanese/French-inspired restaurant and cocktail den ensconced below the Meatpacking District's Dream Downtown Hotel.  It was judged by spirits/cocktail industry luminaries:

  • Dale DeGroff - Legendary mixologist and founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail
  • Paul Pacult - Noted spirits critic and publisher/editor of The Spirit Journal
  • Steve Olson - Founder of aka wine geek and renowned spirits, wine and cocktail expert
  • Jack Robertiello - Widely-respected spirits and cocktail writer
  • Sara Gore - Host of "Open House" and "New York Live" on NBC and former professional cook
  • Jerome Royer - Louis Royer Cognac's Master Selector and a fifth-generation family member
  • Tim Cooper - Mixologist at GoldBar and Grand Prize winner of the first "Show Me the Proof!" High Proof Cognac Cocktail Competition

"I feel truly honored to have won the competition's Grand Prize and I thank Louis Royer Cognac for creating 'Force 53,' which has electrified the bartending community," says Sother Teague, Bartender, Amor y Amargo.  "Overproof cocktails have become an integral part of the mixologist's tool kit and 'Force 53' has been at the forefront of this trend."

"I was a finalist in last year's competition, so this year's Grand Prize win is particularly sweet," says Pamela Wiznitzer, Bartender, The Dead Rabbit.  "I am truly elated by the win and I look forward to immersing myself deeply in learning about the production of 'Force 53' and the culture and history of Cognac when I visit their facility in Jarnac next year." 

The cocktail recipe compilation was executed by the competition's partner, ShakeStir.com, a leading online community of thousands of bartenders and mixologists, which promoted it to its members.

Grand Prize:
Orchard in Manhattan by Sother Teague (Amor y Amargo)
1 ½ oz Louis Royer "Force 53" VSOP Cognac
1 oz Cocchi Americano
½ oz Apple Brandy
¼ oz Becherovka
2 dashes Bar Keep Apple Bitters

Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass and fill with plenty of ice. Stir to chill and dilute. Strain over a single large ice cube in a double old fashioned glass.

Grand Prize:
The Wayside by Pamela Wiznitzer (The Dead Rabbit)
1 ½ oz Louis Royer "Force 53" VSOP Cognac
¾ oz Lemon Juice
½ oz Honey Water
1 oz Chai Tea
¾ oz Dolin Sweet Vermouth

Combine ingredients into a shaker with ice.  Shake well and strain over a large ice cube in an old fashioned glass.  Garnish with a lemon twist with oils expressed on top. 

Second Place:
The Bishop's Wife by Joshua Perez (Middle Branch)
2 ¼ oz Louis Royer "Force 53" VSOP Cognac
¾ oz Branca Menta
½ oz Demerara Syrup
2 oz Water

Add 1 oz room temperature water into coffee mug.  Add remaining 1 oz water and rest of ingredients into a tempered pint glass. Ignite with red-hot poker, flame until sugar is caramelized.  Assuming a red-hot poker is not available, this can be done "Blue Blazer" style.  Serve in a mug.  No garnish.

Third Place:
The Big Sleep by Robert Krueger (Extra Fancy)
2 oz Louis Royer "Force 53" VSOP Cognac
¾ oz Punt e Mes
½ oz Cointreau Noir

Stir all ingredients over cracked ice and strain into a double old fashioned glass with one large cube. Add an orange twist for garnish.

About Louis Royer Cognac
Founded in 1853, Louis Royer Cognac is an iconic Cognac house located on the banks of the Charente River in Jarnac, France.  It is a revered producer of award-winning Cognacs, including VSOP, high proof and XO expressions.  In 2013, Louis Royer "Force 53" VSOP Cognac received a "Best in Show" Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco Wine & Spirits Competition and the house's XO was awarded a Gold Medal.  In addition, XO was named among the World's Top 120 Spirits by Paul Pacult's renowned The Spirit Journal.  Master Blender Laurent Robin works closely with Master Selector Jerome Royer, a fifth-generation family member, together with Master Distiller Monia Martin, to meld together fine eaux-de-vie to create Cognacs of remarkable complexity and approachability.  They exemplify the house's bee emblem that symbolizes its passion for work, organization and commitment.  For more information, please visit www.louis-royer.com.  On social media, please follow us on Twitter at @Force53cognac and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LOUISROYERCOGNAC.

Media Contacts:
Hanna Lee or Jen Neugeboren
Hanna Lee Communications, Inc.

SOURCE Hanna Lee Communications, Inc.