Official Drink of Austin

Hot new bar's crafty cocktail crowned Official Drink of Austin 2016

Hot new bar's crafty cocktail crowned Official Drink of Austin 2016

Official Drink of Austin 2016 Geraldine's cocktail Far from the Tree Jennifer Keyser
Geraldine's walked away with the Official Drink of Austin title with cocktail Far From the Tree. Photo by Nicole Raney
Official Drink of Austin 2016 Geraldine's Backbeat winner
The Geraldine's team (left) celebrates the win. Photo by Nicole Raney
Official Drink of Austin 2016 Geraldine's cocktail Far from the Tree Jennifer Keyser
Jennifer Keyser (left) leads her team to victory in luchador masks. Photo by Nicole Raney
Official Drink of Austin 2016 Backbeat cocktail Jessica Sanders Ania Robbins
Backbeat was the runner-up for the evening. Photo by Nicole Raney
Official Drink of Austin 2016 Backbeat cocktail Ania Robbins
The Backbeat team prepared their namesake drink. Photo by Nicole Raney
Official Drink of Austin 2016 Central Standard cocktail
Eight teams from Austin's top beverage programs competed for the top honor. Photo by Nicole Raney
Official Drink of Austin 2016 Juliet cocktail Waterloo Boogie
Juliet, Juniper, Central Standard, District Kitchen + Cocktails, drink.well., and Freedmen's were the other six contenders. Photo by Nicole Raney
Official Drink of Austin 2016 Freedmen's Bar cocktail
Freedmen's Bar incorporated local craft beer into its cocktail. Photo by Nicole Raney
Official Drink of Austin 2016 Geraldine's cocktail Far from the Tree Jennifer Keyser
Official Drink of Austin 2016 Geraldine's Backbeat winner
Official Drink of Austin 2016 Geraldine's cocktail Far from the Tree Jennifer Keyser
Official Drink of Austin 2016 Backbeat cocktail Jessica Sanders Ania Robbins
Official Drink of Austin 2016 Backbeat cocktail Ania Robbins
Official Drink of Austin 2016 Central Standard cocktail
Official Drink of Austin 2016 Juliet cocktail Waterloo Boogie
Official Drink of Austin 2016 Freedmen's Bar cocktail

On Thursday night, Austin's finest mixologists gathered at Fair Market to shake, stir, and pour a cocktail worthy of being crowned the Official Drink of Austin 2016.

The annual event, hosted by Tipsy Texan to benefit the Austin Food & Wine Alliance, brought in teams from Austin's best bars and beverage programs, including Backbeat, Central Standard, District Kitchen + Cocktails, drink.well., Freedmen's Bar, Geraldine's, Juliet Ristorante, and Juniper.

In the end, the judges crowned Geraldine's cocktail concoction Far From the Tree as the Official Drink of Austin 2016; Jennifer Keyser led her team to victory.

In order to win the coveted title, each team was tasked with serving up its cocktail contenders to the thirsty crowd. After enjoying bites from top Austin restaurants and sampling the entire drink lineup, participants voted on their favorites.

The winner of the People's Choice award, Geraldine's, and the runner-up, Backbeat, then went head-to-head in a timed cocktail competition for the top honor. Backbeat served up its refreshing namesake drink with gin, celery cordial, lemon, and alpine liqueur. After surprising the crowd by donning luchador masks, Geraldine's took the sweet route with a Treaty Oak rum-based libation complemented by Paula's Texas Orange liqueur, house-made pecan syrup, and apple.

The Official Drink of Austin was then voted on by a panel of judges. Aaron Behrens (Ghostland Observatory), Travis Tober (House Spirits Distillery; formerly of Vox Table), Chauncy James (Garage; Official Drink of Austin 2015 winner), Michael Fojtasek (Olamaie), and Taylor Ellison (co-host of We Are Austin) assessed the cocktails from the two finalists — but only one could take home the title.

With Far From the Tree, Geraldine's — located within the swanky new Hotel Van Zandt — now holds the bragging rights to 2016's Official Drink of Austin.

Geradline's Far From the Tree

1 1/2 oz Treaty Oak Rum

3/4 oz freshly pressed apple juice

1/2 oz pecan orgeat

1/2 oz Paula's Texas Orange

1/2 oz lime juice

Shake all ingredients and serve in a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with shaved pecans and an apple slice.