Sonoma State Tops Texas Tech in Wine Cocktail Showdown


In what sounds like the trifecta at the local track, Lavender Lady edged out Tasteful Blush and Mendoza Margarita to take home the crown in the Sonoma State University/Texas Tech University Wine Mixology Contest.
Whereas other contestants relied on tried-and-true cocktail recipes, a Sonoma State press release said, Sonoma State's Laina Carter and Jessica Piel created an original recipe for Lavender Lady. 
“Lady Lavender was able to steer clear of 'repurposing' standard cocktails and incorporated the use of unique ingredients and a novel flavor profile,” said Master of Wine Tim Hanni, who joined four Master Sommeliers on the judging panel.
The cocktail creators' emphasis on herbs impressed Hanni. 
“Focusing on the aromatic herb this recipe evokes the traditional, lost art of blending wine and aromatic ingredients that have a long history in wine regions in Europe,” he said.
Master Sommelier Ian Cauble lauded Carter and Piel's combination of components.
“It seemed to me the creator of the drink was mindful of using very carefully chosen ingredients as well as fresh citrus,” Cauble said, “which is necessary in all cocktails.”
Recipes for the winning drinks were posted on the competition's blog. According to the blog, the Lavender Lady is comprised of six ingredients: 4 oz. sparkling white wine, ½ oz. citron vodka, ½ oz. lavender tea syrup, one lemon and peel, lemon drop martini sugar and lavender blossoms for garnish.
The instructions?
“Dip the rim of a chilled martini glass in lemon drop sugar. Add vodka and lavender tea syrup. Add juice form one fresh-squeezed lemon,” the blog said. “Top with sparkling white wine. Garnish with lemon peel and lavender blossoms. Enjoy!”
The Lavender Lady beat out 32 other cocktails for the top spot. According to the release, students narrowed the initial group down to “the six most creative”. From there, the expert judges selected the top-three cocktails. 
“We are very pleased with the results,” Sonoma State Wine Business Professor Dr. Liz Thach said, “and the students appeared to have lots of fun with the project.”
Part of the purpose of the competition, the press release said, was to explore ways that wine could compete with the beer and spirits markets.
“Wine can sometimes be perceived as a bit too snobby,” Sonoma State student Chris Harrison said. “By crafting wine cocktails we can appeal to the 'come as you are' beer and spirits followers.”
Photo Credit: Wine Cocktails Blog

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