Barenjager, the German honey liqueur imported by the same company responsible for the success of Jagermeister and Grey Goose, hosted a bartending competition last night in a bona fide speakeasy located in a basement in NOHO. The password to get in was “Bear Hunter,” in reference to meschkinnes, the mead-like moonshine bear hunters once used to lure their prey, which eventually came to be marketed as Barenjager.
The event attracted the city’s drinkerati, including Gary Regan, Julie Reiner, and Allen Katz, all of whom were among the judges’ panel. The competitors: Jonathan Pogash of Hospitality Holdings, Brad Farran of Clover Club, Kevin Diedrich of The Four Seasons’ Bourbon and Steak in D.C., Gerry Corcoran of PDT, Neil Grosscup of the Country Club, and (the only female competitor) Meaghan Dorman of Raines Law Room, each submitted a drink recipe and were on hand shaking and stirring up their respective cocktails for the crowd.
The winning concoction was a stiff, peaty drink called The Bottom Line by Diedrich, which incorporated Barenjager, Scotch, and sherry. “It’s the perfect drink,” said judge Jack Robertiello, a spirits writer and consultant. The crowd disagreed, selecting Corcoran’s Bare Fizz as its favorite. The PDT bartender also used Scotch, along with fig jam, egg white, and beer in his drink. “Everyone loves a beer cocktail,” conceded Robertiello.
The Bottom Line
3/4 parts Barenjager Honey Liqueur
1 1/2 parts Highland Park 18
1 part Manzilla Sherry
1/4 Cio Ciaro
1 dash orange bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
In a shaker or mixing glass, combine the ingredients with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.