Icing the Competition: A toast to the winner of the Ocean Drive Mixologist Masters competition

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August 30th, 2011

Ocean Drive Magazine Original Article

The mixology craze has left Miami bar menus bursting with meticulously handcrafted (and decadently delicious) cocktails. So many, in fact, that we felt a contest was necessary to determine where our weekly allotment of such calories would be most pleasantly spent. The winning drink—a beguiling combination of grapes, tarragon and maple syrup—was concocted by the Viceroy Miami’s Julio Cabrera and dubbed the Iced Grape. Here, he explains the brilliance behind his blend. –Christine Borges

Share the recipe for your Iced Grape cocktail.
In a shaker, I muddle five red seedless grapes, a few tarragon leaves, a half ounce of maple syrup and a half ounce of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Then I add a dash of peach bitters, a half ounce of Lillet Blanc and an ounce and a half of Grey Goose La Poire. I shake it vigorously, then double-strain into a cocktail glass. I like to garnish it with a sprig of tarragon and a grape frozen in a grape-juice ice cube.

What were you trying to achieve with the ingredients combination?
I was trying to create a cocktail from ingredients that consumers can find at a normal grocery store. You can achieve wonderful flavors by using fresh fruits, herbs, aromatized or fortified wines, unusual sweeteners (such as maple syrup), fruit bitters and, of course, a great spirit as a base.

Do you serve the Iced Grape regularly?
Absolutely. I make it at Viceroy Miami’s Eos as well as the Martini Bar at the National Hotel Miami Beach, where I host and bartend at a Monday night event featuring all my signature drinks.

Of the cocktails you’ve created, which are your favorites?
I have several. The Flamingo Mojito is a must, with fresh watermelon, ginger syrup, lime juice, mint and Prosecco-topped white rum. I also love the Calle Ocho Old Fashions, made with dark rum, demerara (raw sugar) syrup, homemade tobacco bitters and a tobacco leaf float. They’re both at the top of my list.

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