November 29, 2019: The 3rd Annual Wizards of Elixirs cocktail competition was finally successfully held this past Sunday night at the Archer Hotel Sky & Vine rooftop in Napa, CA. The mixology competition was postponed due to the recent Kinkaid fires in Sonoma, CA. All drinks were made with products from Perfect Puree and Charbay Distillery.
Perhaps the Halloween theme at the surface seemed unnecessary, given that the event was postponed until after Halloween, but event-goers embraced the theme and costumes were worn by drinkers and bartenders alike.
There were even a few Santa and Mrs. Claus costumes to embrace both the Halloween theme and the upcoming holidays.
This relatively new event has been embraced by the Napa bartending community with fifteen of the wine country’s best bartenders and mixologists donating their talent and time for a cause – Stand for Kindness.
Stand for Kindness is an organization that supports local families directly impacted by wildfires. Something that strikes close to home for many of us living in wine country.
Perfect Puree fruit purees of Napa Valley and Charbay Distillery tequila, rum, whiskey or vodka, were the sponsors of the event.
The competition is friendly and the only rule is that the bartenders needed to use both Perfect Puree and Charbay ingredients.
The rest is up to the bartender’s ingenuity, creativity, and palate.
It was a gorgeous night to be on top of the fabulous roof deck at the Archer Hotel. There was a slight chill in the air but a combination of fire pits, tower heaters, a bit of dancing and the booze kept everyone warm enough and in great spirits.
As guests walk into the event, a row of tables featuring the wizardly potions of the competitors greets them.
Here’s who was competing for the crown of best drink on this post-Halloween night:
Andaz Napa (Napa)
Bear Republic Brewing Co. (Healdsburg)
Brix Restaurant (Yountville)
Charlie Palmer Steak Napa (inside the Archer Hotel, Napa)
Duke’s Spirited Cocktails (Healdsburg)
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch (St. Helena)
Geyserville Gun Club (Geyserville)
Goose & Gander (St. Helena)
Gran Electrica (Napa)
Perch + Plow (Santa Rosa)
Ramen Gaijin (Sebastopol)
Sam’s Social Club (Calistoga)
Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar (inside the Archer Hotel, Napa)
The Q Restaurant & Bar (Napa)
The winners are chosen by popular vote. Attendees drop their voting card in the collection box for their favorite cocktail. They are then tallied at the end of the night.
Winners of the Wizards of Elixirs in Napa Annual Cocktail Competition.
2 oz. Charbay R5 Lot 5 Whiskey
.33 oz. Pasubio Vino Amaro
1/4 oz. Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA Beer Syrup
3/4 oz. clarified The Perfect Purée Blackberry Puree, thawed
.33 oz. The Perfect Purée Yuzu Luxe Sour blend, thawed
A pinch of salt
All kegged and carbonated served on tap into a Collins/highball glass over a Collins cube.
Second Place Winner
1 1/2 oz. Charbay R5 Lot 5 Whiskey
1 oz. Giffard Peach Liquor
1 oz. The Perfect Purée Prickly Pear Puree, thawed
1 oz. smoked lemon juice
2 oz. bergamot infused black tea
2 dashes Cocktail Punk Smoked Orange Bitters
Splash of agave
Shake all ingredients, minus the black tea with ice. Strain into a Mason Jar and fill with fresh ice. Top with bergamot infused black tea. Garnish with edible pansies and rosemary.
1 oz. Charbay R5 Lot 5 Whiskey
1 oz. Blanco Tequila
1 oz. Aperol
1/4 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
3/4 oz. float of Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
1/2 oz. The Perfect Purée Thai Basil & Black Pepper blend, thawed
Combine all but IPA and shake over ice, strain into a coupe glass and float IPA on top. Garnish with lemon peel.
The Wizards of Elixirs event is an annual event.
All tickets included all cocktail tastings (sometimes or often sampling more than once to make sure it was your favorite), passed snacks and one raffle ticket. You can join the best bartenders in wine country next year as they compete for the crown. In the meantime, you can pick up some Perfect Puree and Charbay and try your hand at mixology yourself.