Michael Montoya/Beehive Distilling: 2021 Salt Lake Magazine Cocktail Contest

Each year, we ask a selection of Utah’s best bartenders to use local spirits and local ingredients and hit us with their best shot (or shots). So last Sept. 12, bartenders bravely gathered on a Sunday morning after the Saturday night late shift to swizzle up some hair of the dog and present their entries into the 2021 Salt Lake magazine Cocktail Contest. They didn’t disappoint. Through Nov. 30, we invite you to drop in to their bars and try their creations (or mix them up yourself at home). Pick your favorites and click the image below to cast your vote.

How long behind the bar? Seven years

What’s your favorite after-shift drink? Averna Amaro or mezcal on ice.

What is the “star ingredient” of your CC entry? The rosehip tea. I wanted to make a cocktail that followed the season change, using a rose and plum. As a child, my family used roses for teas and tinctures to fortify for the winter.

What’s your favorite drink to make? Roulettes! I love trying to make up something for strangers.

What’s a drink that makes you cringe? Not much, truly.

Best hangover cure? Hydration throughout the night before, but if you forgot to—salt, lime in water, potassium, greek yogurt.

Got a bar joke? For a slow night. These ghosts are all in low spirits even though I keep saying they have a ton of company. 

Why do you love bar work? It makes you feel close to the people of the city, and I get to complete mini stress cycles crafting drinks repeatedly, which is very soothing for me.

What is a cocktail/spirit you used to hate but now you love? Why? White wine. I grew to love it as I discovered that it wasn’t always sweet nor dry. The existence of Australian Pinot really helped me appreciate white wine.

Michael Montoya/Beehive Distilling; Photo by Austen Diamond

Remedial Rose

1½ oz Wahaka Mezcal Espadin
½ oz Lunazul Reposado
⅕ oz (at least) local SGH Honey
1 oz Rose hip tea
3 dashes Bitters Lab Plum and Oak Bitters

Salt Lake Magazine
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