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Looking for an excellent cocktail over the holiday break? InterContinental Hotels & Resorts recently hosted a cocktail competition among the mixologists at its Americas properties.
InterContinental San Juan mixologist Jaders Calcaño was named the overall winner after serving up a Coqui Nite Cap cocktail, comprised of Bacardi 8, coconut water, pineapple juice, Cardamom bitters, hickory smoke syrup and garnished with a lemon peel to a panel of judges.
The InterContinental Miami came in second and the InterContinental Boston came in third, with the People's Choice Award going to the InterContinental New York Times Square for their cocktail, The Smash.
The InterContinental Top Shelf Cocktail Competition, which was in partnership with Bacardi, challenged mixologists at InterContinental's Americas properties to create handcrafted cocktails for a chance to be featured in the new InterContinental Signature Cocktail menu. That menu will be available at InterContinental's North American properties starting in spring 2015.
The competition kicked off in August with teams submitting two drinks — one reflective of their hotel's destination and the second a seasonal cocktail with ingredients that invoked the feeling of spring. Teams were also scored on the “buzz” they generated by hosting tastings (#ICTopShelf) for local media and encourage patrons to share photos and posts about their favorite cocktails through social media channels.
The competition narrowed down to six finalists – InterContinental Boston, Toronto Centre, Cozumel, Miami, New York and San Juan hotels – then culminated with the InterContinental Top Shelf Cocktail finale at the Bacardi headquarters in Miami on November 13.
Guests were welcomed with samples of the Spring-influenced cocktails and voted for their favorite via iPad to determine the People's Choice Award winner. Then, the mixologists prepped and served their Signature InterContinental Cocktails to a panel of judges, who determined the overall winners.