Woodford Reserve Crowns NYC Manhattan Champ


New York mixologist Francis Verrall took home the title for New York’s best Manhattan recipe and now advances to the second round of Woodford Reserve’s national competition. From the press release:


Louisville, KY – Woodford Reserve brought its Manhattan Experience to New York City Monday night, crowning the recipe of local bartender Francis Verrall as the best Manhattan in the city. The Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience, a national cocktail competition which gives talented mixologists the chance to showcase their skills by shaking up their own unique twist on the classic Manhattan, saw eight compete from the area.


Verrall’s recipe for a Manhattan showcases his unique approach to mixology, as well as the classic cocktail itself, by bringing in additional spice notes with his use of Amaro Montenegro and Ancho Reyes Chile Liquer.

Having beat out the competition, Verrall will move forward to the next round of the competition, where his recipe for the Old Oscar will be judged against those created by bartenders from 30 markets across the country. The Manhattan Experience will culminate with a final event hosted in New York on Jan. 12 when this year’s winner will be announced.

Francis participated in the competition, which was hosted at Beauty & Essex, and featured recipes submitted by New York City’s top mixologist talent. His winning recipe will be judged against the winners from all 30 markets, who will be given the chance to visit the Woodford Reserve Distillery for an immersive bourbon experience hosted by Master Distiller Chris Morris. While at the distillery, it will be announced which six competitors will advance to the finale event in New York.


Old Oscar


1 1/2 oz. Woodford Reserve


1/2 oz. Campari


1/2 oz. Amaro Montenegro


1/2 oz. Ancho Reyes


Aztec Chocolate Bitters


Combine all ingredients, serve in a coupe with a dehydrated orange wheel.

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