When the weather starts to get cold, I love to sip Bärenjäger on its own in a pretty little liqueur glass. So I couldn’t help but be curious to see how this yummy 70 proof honey liqueur would transform in the hands of bartenders in a contest sponsored by Bärenjäger. Six finalists were selected from over 250 entrees from around the country, who then competed to win a trip for 2 to Oktoberfest and $1000. The herb-edged honey taste got mixed with everything from absinthe to beer. Kyle Ford was selected as the winner, with SS Europa (see recipe below). Despite the fact that I don’t adore the flavor of absinthe, the cocktail worked perfectly, and it was quite nice how the 3 flavors played together. The crowd favorite came from Erick B. Smith with his Bad News Bear, whose inclusion of Benedictine won my vote (see recipe below). See more photos of the event and cocktails from the contestants at this link.
1 part Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur
2 parts Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
3 dashes St. George absinthe
Stir for 20 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Bad News Bear
1 part Bärenjäger
1.5 parts Bols Genever
.5 parts Benedictine
.75 parts Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
2 Dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-aged Bitters
Combine all ingredients in shaker, add ice, shake vigorously, and strain into pre-chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.