Its Monday afternoon in Kansas City, it’s hot and humid with the recent rain. Every one is at work but a group of tequila connoisseurs are all hanging out at Port Fonda for Viva Sangrita. Viva Sangrita is an event that is based around the Mexican drink a Sangrita. This event has been going on for 4 years and it’s the first time in Kansas City. There are bartenders from all over Missouri and as far as Milwaukee. They are competing to win $1,000 to go down to The Tales of the Cocktails(which is a huge cocktail event in New Orleans filled with competitions, seminars, and reuniting with friends) to compete to win the grand prize of a trip to Mexico to visit the distillery and well… Have a hell of a good time as well as taking in knowledge of tequila. There are a ton of Kansas City’s own participating hoping to represent Kansas City down in New Orleans. There’s Ryan Miller of Voltaire, Courtney Crockett of Manifesto, Katy Wade of The Reiger Hotel Bar and Grill, Caitlin Corcoran of Port Fonda, and Casey Rond an independent bartender in town.
Here each of the contestants make their own version of the Sangrita that pairs well with a tequila from Tequila Ocho. We have seen people go with some of the basic ingredients of a Sangrita like Casey. Her drink was called “Dar Mi Un Reso (give me a kiss)” which had a heat that rushed your cheeks. It was also meant to be shared with someone else who shared that same passion.
Caitlin from Kansas City also did the same. Her background is coffee, so she decided to incorporate that a but by making a cold brew of Oddly Correct’s Mexico Chiapas and added anchor chilies to a part of her brewing process, she then cut it with a house made horchata. With a orange and brown sugar rim, it was a very delicious complement to the 2012 El Refugo Anejo.
Then we had Katy and Courtney who both had a very refreshing twist to their own Sangrita. Each having their own stories. Courtney’s drink was called the Okey Donkey Sangrita. It was inspired by her childhood spending summers at her grandparents house. The complexity of her Sangrita was a reminder of these roller coaster roads. That’s what her Sangrita did to your tastebuds; they were taken on a flavor roller coaster from the English cucumber, beets, and celery.
You also had people that took almost an unexpected route. Ryan and TJ were great examples of that. Ryan made a drink called the Green Dream that was a green coconut curry. That was paired beautifully with the 2013 Los Fresnos Plata. Then TJ did an Italian inspired Sangrita with white anchovies, ancho chillies, vinegar and tomatoes to name a few. The burn of the chillies was different from the others. It was a smooth and mellow burn that really opened to the tequila, which paired with it well.
The anticipation is building as they tally up the points and announce the winner of the event. With amazing tapas to fill our stomachs and cerveza. It’s only going to get more wild as we wait. They were introducing all the of bartenders and handing out a limited produced vintage of Ocho Tequila. The winner of the $1,000 and the opportunity to represent this region at Tales of the Cocktails in New Orleans is Caitlin Corcoran, bar manager of Port Fonda! Congratulations to Caitlin and good luck in New Orleans. Great job all the other bartenders, they were all really delicious pairings and was hard for me to decide.
This is our first cocktail event and we will definitely be ready for the next one. Taking more information about beverages and the community of the beverage world. Which is very open and welcoming answering any questions you might have.