Our Hungover Recap of Last Night's Beefeater 24 Mixology Competition at The Gin Mill

Categories: Drink This
Danny Duran
Omar Yeefoon of The People's Last Stand, mixes up a "Boleyn."
For those in attendance at The Gin Mill last night for the Beefeater 24 Mixology competition, any memory of exactly what transpired is a little spotty.

After all, 13 area mixologists turned up for the event with their own Beefeater 24 concoctions, in hopes of winning the $1,000 first prize, and City Of Ate was on hand to guzzle each drink and help pick a winner. So forgive us if our memory of the night is a bit patchy; we may or may not have blacked out halfway through the judging process. What we do remember is that an alarming number of the drinks we were served nodded to the Pisco Sour, with its use of egg foam and bitters.

The event, sponsored by Beefeater an the Observer, was held, in part, to introduce Beefeater 24, a gin aged 24 hours in Japanese Sencha tea and Chinese green tea. Most importantly, though, it gets you real drunk real fast.

It didn't help that the contestants were mixing, shaking, bruising, and serving drinks faster than the judges could ingest them. Still, we soldiered on.
The criteria for judging the drinks was simple. Flavor and balance, expression of the gin, creativity, name, and overall presentation were the plum line in choosing the best drink, all of which used Beefeater 24 as the base ingredient. There were some that scored quite low, some that were pretty good, and three that stood out as the best.

John DeCarlis, who tends bar at Fort Worth's The Usual, came in third with his Pisco Sour inspired "24 Sour." The drink took the spirit's tea notes even further by using a complex blend of earl grey tea, simple syrup, and egg foam. The final product was crisp on the nose with a creamy finish.

Second place went to Michael Martensen, barman at The Cedars Social, with his drink "Desi's Delight." As the name implies, Martensen took a Cuban approach, making a drink more akin to a Mojito than the rest of the night's offerings. His use of almond in the drink prompted a WTF, and the judges decided the drink would go best in the summer.

The winning drink, however, used the upcoming autumn and winter as inspiration. "Bouquet of 24," from Victor Tangos' Kirsten Holloway, despite its terrible name, had perfect balance with all its ingredients. Again, the Pisco Sour was referenced, but "Bouquet" was a much softer, warmer cocktail. She used lavender, lime juice, egg foam, and simple syrup for a drink that will go nicely with the upcoming holidays, especially if all the family and festivities have you jonesing to get real drunk real fast.

Location Info


The Gin Mill

1921 N. Henderson Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Music

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Daniel Hopkins
Daniel Hopkins

"Pisco Sour" was a term thrown around loosely by many of the bartenders at this event, specifically the first and third place winners, who each cited the Pisco Sour as inspiration for their drinks.


Using orgeat syrup (apparently also known as almond syrup in DFW cause drinkers can't be be bothered with the actual name for an ingredient lest it be too esoteric - how insulting) in a drink that pays hommage to Carribean culture (I.e. using orgeat in a tikiesque drink) never constitutes a "WTF". For starters, ever heard of a Mai Tai?

Also, if you keep referencing pisco sours whenever someone uses egg white in a drink please do some research: there are drinks that have been around longer than a pisco that use egg white in. I'm sure a silver gin fizz had more influence on the bar-tenders than pisco sours when creating their recipes.

Incog Nico
Incog Nico

I think it was a great competition and I enjoyed meeting John last night from the Usual and Alan from Blue Mesa. I wish more people would've know about it then again its competitions like this one that will make the Margarita Massacre so popular on October 30th in Fort Worth at the W.7th Development from 1pm-5pm. Cheers!


Actually, the third place winner didn't originally name the Pisco Sour as his inspiration, but rather "sour style cocktails" which people quickly began to interpret as a Pisco sour, which is understandable considering the drink's current popularity. Someone says "sour" and everyone replies "Pisco?" I think John DeCarlis was just too polite to correct anyone, and everyone. I never had the chance to speak with Kristen Holloway that night, but I did hear her mention the Pisco Sour when she won.

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