We Have a Winner!

We Have a Winner!

Our 1st Annual Martini Mayhem Cocktail Competition was a blast!  Hosted by John Bourdeau at his beautiful Main Street Grill in Watertown, it was a hotly contested competition sponsored by an inspiring vodka.  Three local mixology masters won bragging rights and a handful of cash!

On Sunday, April 7, 2013 several members of the United States Bartenders Guild-Connecticut Chapter and other talented, local mixologists participated in our first foray into the realm of cocktail competitions with six bartenders competing for the three top prizes.

Creative talent abounded behind the bar as a throng of enthusiastic fans cheered for their favorites. The crowd overflowed into the bar and dining room where they cheered on the six competitors who also batched samples of their unique creations for the crowd to enjoy.

Main Street Grill, 663 Main Street, Watertown, CT (860-274-7788)

The mixology masters were tasked with ingenuity and creativity in designing and constructing a cocktail with America’s own, Black Lab Vodka.  The results were six entirely different cocktails; some inspired by the classic negroni, others modeled after a martini or rocks-style cocktail. Original elements included passion fruit puree, honey-thyme four pepper syrup and chamomile tincture.  The only requirement was that the cocktail must have a local, Connecticut ingredient.

We’d like to thank, Douglas Maloney, VP Black Lab Vodka, for sponsoring the event.  Black Lab Vodka is hand crafted in small “litters” and was created in celebration of the sporty spirit of America’s dog, the Labrador Retriever.  Black Lab Vodka is filtered 5x and is gluten free.

Bartenders Group

From left: Dave Hennessy, MartiniHunter Co-Founder; Dimitri Zaharaidis, USBG-CT; David Bouchard, USBG-CT;

Nicholas Quiroz, Brescome Barton Distributors; Rosie  Hin, Hartley and Parker; Tammy Torres, MartiniHunter Founder;

David Roth, USBG-CT; Carl Summa, USBG-CT  Rob Martini, USBG-CT, Paul Mazurek, USBG-CT


Meanwhile my fellow judges (L-R) Paul Mazurek, USBG-CT Treasurer, John Bourdeau, Main Street Grill owner, and I observed, chatted with, and took notes on the contenders.


At the end of the day Carl Summa (Main Street Grill) took home top honors with his “T-Squared Thyme” cocktail and the always creative Rob Martini (1249 Wine Bar) and Dimitrios Zaharaidis (Vasi’s Restaurant) impressed everyone with “MartninHunter’s Passion” and “The CockTeas” respectively.

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Dave and I were happy to announce the winners and hand out the official Award and the prizes – $200 for 1st, $100 for 2nd and a bottle of Black Lab Vodka for 3rd — to the winners.


Congratulations to Carl, Rob and Dimitrios. Connecticut cocktail lovers will soon be seeking you out to sample your delicious, award-winning creations.  Thanks for all you do to promote cocktail culture in Connecticut and rid the world of inferior libations, one cocktail at a time.


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