Official Drink of Austin

Cocktail from swanky downtown bar crowned the Official Drink of Austin 2015

Cocktail from swanky downtown bar crowned the Official Drink of Austin

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The Garage team walked away with the win at the Official Drink of Austin competition. Photo by Nicole Raney
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The finalists had only minutes to prepare their cocktails for the awaiting judges. Photo by Nicole Raney
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Garage bar manager Chauncey James. Photo by Nicole Raney
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Judges sip on the sweetly smooth Indian Paintbrush. Photo by Nicole Raney
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The Indian Paintbrush is a vodka-based cocktail that blends grapefruit, lime and rosemary flavors. Photo by Nicole Raney
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A close up of the Official Drink of Austin, the Indian Paintbrush, Photo by Nicole Raney
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Half Step served up samples their signature drinks to eager Austinites. Photo by Nicole Raney
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Half Step took second place for the Don Brimstone. Photo by Nicole Raney
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A close-up of the Don Brimstone, Half Step's take on a michelada. Photo by Nicole Raney
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Judges Jack Allen and Gina Chavez sipping on Half Step's savory Don Brimstone. Photo by Nicole Raney
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On Thursday, February 26, Austin's most talented mixologists sloshed, sipped and stirred in a fight to be crowned the Official Drink of Austin 2015. 

The second annual event, hosted by the Tipsy Texan to benefit the Austin Food & Wine Alliance, gathered teams from Austin's most impressive cocktail programs including drink.well., Half Step, Odd Duck, Garage, Licha’s Cantina and VOX Table.

While guests milled around Fair Market, each team was tasked with serving cocktails to the sold-out crowd. After sampling the drinks (and, boy, did we sample the drinks), participants voted on their favorite for the People's Choice award. 

Choosing the Official Drink of Austin, however, was left to the professionals: Chef Jack Gilmore, Gina Chavez, Dan Gentile, Jason Stevens, Jason Kosmas and last year's winner Justin Elliott. The People's Choice award was bestowed upon Garage, but judges selected Half Step and Garage to go head-to-head in an ultimate battle of the bitters for the top honor. While Half Step served its (delicious) take on a michelada called the Don Brimstone, Garage served a vodka-based fruit medley called The Indian Paintbrush. 

In the end judges crowned Chauncey James and the bar team at Garage the winner, giving the Indian Paintbrush the title of The Official Drink of Austin 2015. In unrelated news, we're declaring February 27 the Official Hangover of Austin 2015.

Garage — The Indian Paintbrush
1 1/2 oz Dripping Springs Vodka
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz rosemary syrup
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
Rosemary garnish
Pour all ingredients into tin. Shake over ice. Double fine strain into Tom Collins glass. Add ice. Garnish.

Half Step — Don Brimstone
1oz Balcones Brimstone
1oz fresh lime juice
3/8 Worcestershire
3/8 Valentina Hot Sauce
6oz Austin Beerworks Black Thunder
pinch of Kosher salt
Start with salted pint glass. Add all ingredients aside from beer and top up glass with crushed ice. Add beer and stir to incorporate. Finish with locally produced chicharron and spicy bean as garnish. Serve remainder of beer along with cocktail.

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