Dominick Medel/BTG and Caffe Molise: 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.

Smokey the Pear, the 2021 Salt Lake Magazine Cocktail Contest entry from BTG, highlights the smoky flavor of mezcal.

How long behind the bar? Seven years

What’s your favorite after-shift drink? Whiskey Sour, no eggwhite. 

What is the “star ingredient” of your CC entry? The mezcal itself brings so much smoke through, and the nutmeg on the end just makes you want to go in for another sip. 

What’s your favorite drink to make? I’m a sucker for a Negroni. It’s simplistic, yet elegant and delicious. 

What’s a drink that makes you cringe? Dirty martinis. Not so much for the flavor, but martini drinkers are notoriously meticulous. 

Best hangover cure? Carne Asada fries. 

Got a bar joke? There was a bar that opened up on the moon. It’s getting good reviews and looks good at night. But it just has no atmosphere. 

Why do you love bar work? It’s a passion I didn’t know I had, it’s a never-ending source of fun. 

What is a cocktail/spirit you used to hate but now you love? Why? Mezcal. After tasting a few different versions I discovered that it’s a really unique and delicious spirit. 

Dominick Medel of BTG and Caffe Molise
Dominick Medel/BTG and Caffe Molise; Photo by Austen Diamond

Smokey the Pear

1 oz Wahaka Mezcal
3/4 oz ginger nutmeg all spice simple syrup
½ oz lime juice
1 oz pear juice

Shake/strain. Use coupe glass. Use spiral pear zest for garnish.

Ginger Syrup

1/4 cup all spice
1/4 cup nutmeg
1 cup peeled chopped ginger
4 cups water
4 cups sugar

Boil for 20 minutes. Cool.

Salt Lake Magazine
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