Slow Food Speakeasy: Ark of Taste Cocktail Competition

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The Winners

The following winners of the Ark of Taste Cocktail Competition will showcase their regionally-representative cocktails as USA delegates at Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto in Turin, Italy this October.

1. Maui in the Midwest – by Devin Kidner

Ark of Taste Ingredient: Pawpaw

2 ounces Koval Vodka (it’s organic, grain is sourced from local Midwestern farmers, and it’s made in small batches)
1 ounce Seedling Farm’s Tart Cherry Apple Cider
1 teaspoon Ellis Farms raw, unfiltered honey
3/4 cup Oriana’s Orchard & Nursery’s seeded pawpaw flesh
1/2 cup ice cubes

Combine all of the ingredients, in a blender, and process until smooth. Pour into a chilled glass, garnish with two leaves of Smit’s Farms’ lemon balm. Serve chilled and relax on the "white sands" of Chicago’s beautiful beaches...

“Every ingredient in this beachy, island-inspired drink is made from Midwestern ingredients! Forget lime! Tart Cherry Apple Cider adds zing and complexity. Koval Vodka is made in small batches from grain that’s been sourced from local farmers, and it’s entirely organic! Raw honey lends a sweet hand while supporting local bees, and... let’s not forget about the pawpaws!

Pawpaws are an indigenous fruit and are completely underrated! Found near riverbanks, it was a main staple of the diet around the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition. It’s not just steeped in flavour, it’s steeped in Midwestern history!”

2. Mango by the Sea – By Irene Jade

Ark of Taste Ingredient: Shrub

1 ounce Florida Premium CANE Vodka
2 1/2 tablespoons Pascale’s Mango Ginger Shrub (shrub made by Pascale’s – The Delray Beach Jam Company in Delray Beach, FL)
3 tablespoons fresh Florida mango nectar
1 1/2 fresh Florida key lime juice
scant 1/4 teaspoon fresh finely grated ginger
garnish with fresh Florida key lime zest

Combine all ingredients above, stir and add ice for a cool refreshing cocktail or place in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake, pour and serve. Enjoy!

“Mango by the Sea is a cocktail created in Delray Beach, Florida – a Village by the Sea. This is truly a Slow Cocktail due to the locally grown ingredients used for this recipe.

Florida CANE vodka is a Premium Hand Crafted, Micro-Distilled Vodka made entirely of Florida ingredients using South Florida Sugarcane in Tampa, Florida. With 90 countries in the world producing sugarcane they chose to support the local grower. They distill the fermented sugarcane in a handcrafted American made still and mix it with highly filtered water drawn directly from the Florida Aquifer. They hand label each bottle with local labor and use a high flint, American made glass bottle. The mango ginger shrub is handmade in small batches by Pascale’s, the Delray Beach Jam Company. The mangoes used in the shrub and mango nectar are grown locally in Delray Beach. When in season and available, Florida key limes and fresh garden ginger is also used.”

3. Hot Off The Press – By Nata Traub

Ark of Taste Ingredient: American Rye

1 1/2 ounces of Cornelius Applejack (Harvest Spirits)
1 ounce of Hudson Manhattan Rye (Tuthilltown Spirits)
1/2 ounce of Ginger Syrup*
1/2 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice (approx. 1/2 of a lime) Reserve the peel for garnish
several dashes of Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters

Into an old fashioned/low ball glass add the ginger simple syrup, lime juice, and bitters. Fill with ice cubes. Add the Rye and Applejack. Stir with a mixing stick. Garnish with a lime twist coiled around a cinnamon stick.

*to make the ginger syrup:
4 ounces of water
4 ounces of Hummingbird Ranch Raw Clover Honey
1/8 cup of fresh grated gingerroot

Place ingredients into a pot, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally and simmer for approx. 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool and strain. It can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for about one week. Makes approx. 4 ounces.

“I am hi-lighting New York’s bountiful and historic Hudson Valley. We have become home to several world class distilleries and wine producers, in addition to many organic farms and growers.

The American rye I am using from Tuthilltown Spirits is committed to the support of local farmers, which echoes my insistence to incorporate the slow food process in making cocktails. From grain to glass. Prohibition put an end to small-batch distilling in New York, but Tuthilltown Distillers have resurrected an Empire State classic with Rye Whiskey. They support local farmers and use organic and agricultural resources of local farmers while leaving a smaller footprint on the environment.

Applejack is a spirit that has its roots right back to America’s Colonial times. Golden Harvest Farm & Harvest Distillery, which produces the Cornelius Applejack, is a family owned farm for over 50 years, made from 100% Hudson Valley apples, homegrown on their 200-acre fruit farm. This applejack is named after Cornelius, the man who pressed apples at the Golden Harvest Farms for over 30 years.

Hummingbird Ranch maintains their hives in lower Hudson Valley. In their own words, ‘we make our products not only the old fashioned way, but environmentally safe.’”

4. Appalachian Dawn – By Jay Dunbar

Ark of Taste Ingredient: Newtown Pippin

2 ounces Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey
3/4 ounce Foggy Ridge Pippin Gold Cider
1/4 ounce honey syrup (1:1 ratio of George Watkins’ Tupelo Honey to water)
1 dash each Fee Brothers Lemon and Old Fashion Bitters

Add ingredients to shaker and stir with ice. Strain into a rocks glass with lemon zest garnish.

“This amber-hued libation brings together the flavors of the greater Appalachian region, from the swampy lands of Florida where George Watkins painstakingly harvests the sublime Tupelo honey through Diane Flynt’s heirloom cider apple orchards in Virginia.

Balancing these subtle Southern flavors we have the New York State-born Fee Brothers bitters matched with a bold Pennsylvania-style American rye whiskey, Rittenhouse Rye. This autumnal cocktail evokes speakeasy Americana and the spirit of the harvest, when the frost is on the pumpkins and a warming drink is close at hand.

On a personal level this cocktail embodies different geographic and cultural aspects of my own life – from my childhood and family roots in western Pennsylvania and New York to my adult life in the South – like so many things American, this drink (and myself) is an amalgamation of different products from different places which through its alchemical blending becomes something original and new.”


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