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Thursday, April 03, 2014

5 Favorite Cocktails from Speed Rack

Photo: Courtesy Speed Rack

Speed Rack—the fast-paced, lady-driven bartending competition that raises money for breast cancer awareness and research—continues its cross-country tour with a stop this Sunday in Kansas City, Missouri. But before the next round of bartenderesses get shaking to vie for their spot in the finals, we thought we’d check in with last year’s winner, Ms. Speed Rack 2013, Eryn Reece, on five of her favorite cocktails from the competition. “Speed Rack made me quick to think on my feet,” Reece says, “and there are only so many drinks that one can know! There were five essentially old and unworked recipes that made me a little nervous, but after playing around a bit, I found balance for the modern palate that I really love.”
Mary Pickford
“Honestly this is a real tough one,” says Reece. “Ingredients like grenadine are extremely different from bottle to bottle,” she continues, so finding the right balance is key. Here is Reece’s formula.

2 oz. white rum (Reece uses Bacardi)
1/2 oz. pineapple juice
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
1/4 oz. maraschino liqueur (Reece uses Luxardo)
1 tsp. grenadine
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: cocktail

Combine all ingredients, shake with ice and strain into a chilled glass.


Presidente
“This is another lovely rum cocktail,” says Reece, who changed up the proportions in order to let the rum flavors shine through.

2 oz. white rum (Reece uses Bacardi)
3/4 oz. Dolin Blanc vermouth
1/2 oz. Cointreau
1 tsp. grenadine
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: cocktail

Combine all ingredients, shake with ice and strain into a chilled glass.


Pisco Punch
“This cocktail really showcases pisco,” Reece says, “and shows people that this spirit can be used in more than just a traditional sour.” For Reece’s variation, she tones down the pineapple just a tad.

2 oz. pisco (Reece uses BarSol)
1/2 oz. pineapple juice
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/2 simple syrup (1:1)
Dash Angostura bitters
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: Collins

Combine all ingredients, shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled glass.


Antrim
“Being a fan of the Gentleman's Companion, I love finding new Charles Baker cocktails,” says Reece, “especially ones with wine-based ingredients.” For this version, Reece ups the amount of Cognac and uses less port.

2 oz. Cognac (Reece uses Hine)
3/4 oz. ruby port (Reece uses Sandeman)
1 tsp. sugar cane syrup (1:1)
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon
Glass: coupe

Combine all ingredients, stir with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.


Weeski
This take on a Manhattan leans on an Irish whiskey base and subs in Lillet for vermouth. “I remember this being a difficult one because a lot of girls chose to free pour it,” says Reece, “but it’s a delicate drink and being off on any of the ingredients can really throw the balance.”

2 oz. Irish whiskey (Reece uses Jameson)
1 oz. Lillet blanc
3/4 oz. Cointreau 
2 dashes orange bitters
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: orange twist


Combine all ingredients and stir with ice. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish.