You’ve made it to the page with the full recipes for the Finalists for the 2023 Not Your Pink Drink Competition sponsored by Beam Suntory! Cocktails are listed by category, then alphabetically by Cocktail Name. Finalists used a combination of Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek, Basil Hayden and Jim Beam products to create these delicious bourbon cocktails. For more information on the contest head here.
Professional Division Finalists
A Bloom in the Summertime
Finalist: Moe Peacock
Metro Bar/Founder Top Shelf Peacock
Story: I was inspired by the Cherry Blossoms that grow every spring in DC. People from all around the world visit DC to view the beautiful flowers that bloom every Spring. The Cherry Blossom was a gift from Japan as solidarity in Friendship in DC. This is the perfect cocktail for Bourbon Women SIP. Bourbon is what helps bring women from all different backgrounds together & unite as friends. As we unite for Bourbon Women SIPosium, I call this a “Bloom in the Summertime.”
- 2 oz Makers Mark (Cask strength or Makers 46)
- 1 oz Cherry Blossom Syrup*
- 2 dashes of Aromatic Bitters
- 2 dashes of Orange Bitters
- Garnish: Luxardo cherry and orange slice
Step 1: Add 2 dashes of Aromatic bitters and 2 dashes of orange bitters into a mixing glass.
Step 2: Then, add 1 oz of cherry blossom syrup.
Step 3: Next, add 2 oz of your choice of Maker’s Mark. If you like it boozy like me, add that extra strength.
Step 4: Add your cup of pebble ice.
Step 5: Take your bar spoon, stick it on the inside of the parameter of the mixing glass, and stir for 15-20 seconds.
Step 6: Place your strainer over the mixing glass and pour it into your old fashioned glass.
Step 7: Add your large ice cube, and place your orange slice in the glass on the right side and a Luxardo cherry on top.
And there you have “A Bloom in the Summertime”
*Cherry Blossom Syrup
- 6 Cherry Blossom Tea Bags
- 1 cup water
- 1.5 cups cane sugar
Step 1: Place 6 tea bags in the pot and add water.
Step 2: Turn the stove on medium high heat, let the tea bags cook until the water boils.
Step 3: Turn the heat down to low, add 1.5 cups of cane sugar.
Step 4: Stir the sugar until it’s dissolved.
Step 5: Once the sugar is dissolved, turn the stove off & let the syrup cool off.
Finalist: Molly Hollar
Cerulean: Bar Director
Story: I absolutely love the Harry Potter series and I decided to make an adult spin of my favorite Wizarding World beverage, Butterbeer! I love the whimsy and fun of doing themed cocktails with a little bit of magic and spice!
- 2 oz Knob Creek
- 1 oz salt & pepper butterscotch*
- 1/2 oz J. Reiger café amaro
- Splash (.25oz) Ceylon coconut tea by Adagio Tea Company**
- Fresh Nutmeg
- Garnished with whipped cream
Cocktail build: shake all but whipped cream and nutmeg in a shaker. Double strain over ice into your favorite tea cup. Top with whipped cream and fresh nutmeg.
*Salt & Pepper Butterscotch
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Big pinch black pepper 1/8 tsp-ish
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Melt butter over medium heat, add brown sugar, salt, pepper, cream. Stir to combine and bring to a boil for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and let cool. Bring to room temperature before using.
**Ceylon coconut tea
- 1.5 tsp Ceylon Coconut tea
- 8 oz water
Boil water, and pour over tea. Steep for 5 minutes and strain. Let cool before use.
Not So Basic Bs
Finalist: Emma Willinger
3rd Turn Jeffersontown – Program Director
Story: This cocktail is an homage to every woman out there who has been a victim of the accusation that is “basic”. For everyone who has fallen to the trap of being stereotyped as a girl who likes cosmos and or lemon drop martinis. I want women in the industry to prove that they can handle flavor profiles and combinations that for years have been deemed “manly”. This is for my not so basic Bs who love to shake things up with unique bourbon forward cocktails. Cheers girls!
- 3/4 oz Jim beam black
- 3/4 oz Cruzan spiced rum
- 1/4 oz Ancho Reyes
- 1/4 oz Crème de cacao
- 1/4 oz rich demerara*
- Garnish: spritz of orange bitters and an orange peel
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and then add ice. Stir for 15 seconds and double strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a spritz of orange bitters and an orange peel
*Rich demerara recipe: 1:1 boiling water and Demerara sugar
Not Your Sweetheart
Finalist: Katie Seaton
Lead: The Bar at Willett
Story: My inspiration for creating this cocktail was basing it around the specialty of Makers Mark 46 being aged in French oak barrels. I wanted to create a cocktail using all French ingredients to highlight the French oak. Flavorwise I wanted to create a nice fall cocktail, and nothing goes better together than chocolate and orange. I wanted to create a cocktail that not only was complex in flavor, but easily approachable.
- 1.5oz Maker’s 46
- 1/2 oz Dolin Blanc
- 1/2 oz Dry Curaçao
- 1/2 oz Benedictine
- 4 dashes Chocolate Bitters
- Garnish: orange zest
Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until properly diluted. Pour into a chilled coupe glass. Express an orange zest over the top and garnish with an orange zest.
Well Grounded Woman
Finalist: Leslie Bryan
Story: Coffee is a hobby of mine! Drinking it, making it, buying it– it’s all a beautiful therapeutic ritual to me. I have been loving incorporating coffee into my recent cocktail creations, taking it further than just the espresso martini! (Though I do prefer a bourbon espresso martini over a vodka 🤭) I also love pairing coffee with non-traditional fruit flavors, in this case, cherry and orange, to brighten it up. The cherry amaro adds some depth while the orange oil lifts the otherwise heavier ingredients.
- 2 oz Knob Creek Bourbon
- 1/2 oz Cold Brew Syrup*
- 1/2 oz Stambecco Maraschino Cherry Amaro
- Absinthe rinse on glass
- Garnish: orange peel
Stirred, served in rocks glass over a large cube. Expressed orange peel as garnish.
*Cold Brew Syrup
1:1, by weight, cold brew concentrate to demerara sugar. Keeps 1 month.
Amateur Division Finalists
Jam Cake Old Fashioned
Finalist: Laura Ellison
Story: Every year when I was young I would go pick wild blackberries with my Grandmother in the summer heat. We would walk back, clean the berries, and then make homemade jam. In the fall, we would collect black walnuts, dry them, open them (hopefully without hitting our thumb with a hammer), and collect all the nut meat. Then Christmas would come and we would use the jam and walnuts and make a spice-filled jam cake that was iced with caramel icing. This cocktail is my attempt at capturing all the amazing old fashioned flavor of this wonderful cake. PS The cocktail turns out purple but is hard to capture color with my camera
- 2 oz Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Bourbon
- 3/4 oz Holiday Blackberry Syrup*
- 8 drops Fee Black Walnut Bitters
- Garnish: soft caramel and a blackberry
In a glass container, combine ice, Holiday Blackberry, Syrup, Bitters, and Bourbon, stir with bar spoon until the glass starts icing. Strain with hawthorn strainer into an old fashioned class with a large ice cube. Place soft caramel and blackberry on a frilly toothpick to garnish
*Holiday Blackberry Syrup
- 1 1/2 cup Blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 sugar – if you like really sweet – you can use more
- 1 tsp whole allspice berries
- 1/2 tsp whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
Place berries, sugar, and water into a saucepan over medium heat and then stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Add the spices and let simmer on medium for 10 minutes, turn way down on low, and let simmer for 15 more minutes. Take off the stove and let it cool. Run the syrup through a colander to remove big items and then strain through a fine sieve. You can add a 1/2 oz of Everclear to help it last longer in the fridge.
Pineapple Pepper Bourbon Cocktail
Finalist: Billy Jo Avy
Story: Inspired by the craft industry we are open to create nontraditional cocktails that entice the tastebuds like our bourbons in Kentucky do. This particular cocktail pairs well with the pineapple and citrus flavors and is enjoyed with a peppery kick from the jalapeño and serrano peppers and tajin/honey rim. Truly a flavor profile that will give your palate a summery wake-up call.
- 2 oz Pineapple, Jalapeno, serrano Simple Syrup*
- 2 oz Basil Hayden bourbon
- 1 oz Lemon Juice
- Honey, tajin rim
- Garnish: Dried Pineapple
- Rim half a glass with honey and tajin, then set the glass off to the side.
- In a shaker combine syrup, bourbon, lemon juice, and ice. Shake til the ice begins to melt.
- Add fresh ice to your glass, and strain the contents in the shaker into your glass.
- Garnish with a dried half pineapple wheel.
*Pineapple Jalapeno and Serrano Syrup
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 2 jalapenos sliced
- 2 serrano peppers sliced
- 1 cup sugar
In a pot combine all the ingredients together. Stir to dissolve sugar. Bring the liquid to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. Let the pot cool. Put in refrigerator overnight.
Next day strain peppers from the liquid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Finalist: Jill Slavinsky
Story: May 6, 2023 brought a once in a lifetime event; the coronation of a new King of England and a very royal pastime, the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby! Being mostly English and growing up during the Princess Diana era, the royals have always been rather fascinating. Most everyone I knew had never lived in a world without Queen Elizabeth II and most of what we knew about Charles we only knew because of our fascination with Diana and the later news with William and Harry (or, of course, the tabloids, movies, and other media events).
After moving to Kentucky in 2010 and becoming fascinated with the Kentucky Derby and all things Bourbon (including finding the Bourbon Women very soon after it was founded), what better way to celebrate the blending of these two events than blending the traditional flavors of a traditional Kentucky Derby Mint Julep and very British flavors of Earl Grey tea, English lavender and Pimm’s.
Cheers, Go, Baby Go, and Hail to the King!
- 2 oz. Makers Mark 46 Bourbon
- 1/2 oz. Earl Grey, Mint and Lavender Infused Simple Syrup*
- 1/4 oz. Pimm’s No. 1 Cup Liqueur
- 6-8 Mint Leaves, Preferably Kentucky Colonel
- 5 dashes Lavender Bitters
- Garnish: mint and lavender sprigs
In a cup, gently muddle mint leaves in the simple syrup. Add Maker’s Mark 46, Pimm’s, and bitters then pack with crushed ice. Stir until the glass is frosty on the outside of the pack with more ice. Garnish with mint leaves and lavender sprig.
*Earl Grey, Mint, and Lavender Infused Simple Syrup
- 1 cup Water
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1/2 cup Mint Leaves, Preferably Kentucky Colonel
- 1 Earl Grey Tea Bags
- 1 tbsp Dried English Lavender
In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar, and mint leaves and bring to a boil. Stir mixture until sugar is dissolved and remove from heat. Add tea bags and lavender and steep for 30 minutes. Cool completely, strain, and enjoy in your Royal Julep!
Finalist: Kim Coomer
Story: I wanted to try something different. I am a fan of the Boulevardier, so I talked to a few people about what else I could do with it, and we came up with this. I liked the coffee with the bourbon, so I wanted to find something that went well with it. After many experiments, we found that Jaegermeister made the other flavors pop. I tried to keep all the proportions right while adding my own flair to it. And thus the Spicy B was born!
- 1.5 oz. Maker’s Mark
- 3/4 oz coffee liqueur
- 3/4 oz Jaegermeister
- 2 – 4 dashes orange bitters
- Garnish: flamed orange peel
Pour all the ingredients into a glass, then add ice. Stir it, then strain it into a rocks glass over an ice ball to keep it chilled. Take the orange peel and squeeze it over the flame by the drink. Add the orange peel to the drink and serve.
Thai One On
Finalist: Adina Ewaldz
Story: This cocktail was inspired by a love of Thai food and its unique balance of flavors- sweet, spicy, and sour. The juxtaposition of the Thai flavors in a bourbon cocktail just seemed natural. The tasting notes of the base liquor, Maker’s Mark 46, made it an obvious choice for the cocktail. The sweet vanilla and caramel notes from the bourbon married nicely with the spice and herbal flavors in the drink. The bourbon is infused with peanut butter, commonly used in Thai sauces, and this provides a creamy richness to the bourbon. The mix of Thai spices ginger, lemongrass, basil, and chili, are reminiscent of a perfectly executed, elegant, and fragrant dish from a high-end restaurant. The name of the cocktail, Thai One On, is a playful nod to the mix of spices and this bourbon-forward drink.
The fragrance of herb oil on the finished cocktail first greets one’s nose and entices the further exploration of the flavors. The fat-washed bourbon provides a nice, unctuous mouthfeel, while the Maker’s 46, along with sweet syrup flavors and herbs blend with the slight bite of chili to give a wonderful and surprising experience.
In a mixing glass with ice, combine:
- ½ oz of peanut butter fat washed Maker’s Mark 46 bourbon* (contains peanut allergens)
- 1 ½ oz Maker’s Mark 46 bourbon
- ½ oz Apricot liqueur
- 1 oz Thai syrup**
- Garnish: candied ginger, Thai basil, infused Thai-herb oil***
In a mixing glass with ice, combine ingredients, stir and mix until chilled, strain into a coupe glass and garnish with candied ginger pieces and Thai basil leaves. With an eye dropper, place a few dots of avocado oil infused with lemongrass and Thai basil*** for a fragrant introduction to the cocktail.
*Peanut butter fat washed bourbon – Put ¼ cup of 100% no salt added peanut butter into a jar. Add one cup of bourbon and let the mixture sit for about a day. I shook it a few times to distribute the peanut butter. Freeze the mixture to solidify the fats then strain the mixture through a coffee filter and enjoy!
**Thai syrup – Mix 1 cup water with 1 cup of sugar. Add 2 TBS of Thai chili paste, 3-4 lemongrass stalks, 2 slices of raw ginger and ¼ cup of Thai basil. I made mine in a sous vide water bath, but it could be done on a stovetop as well. In the sous vide I cooked it for 3 hours at 130F. Strain the mixture with a coffee filter and store in the refrigerator.
***Infused Thai herb oil- In a small bottle (eyedropper is handy for this), combine avocado oil, lemongrass, and Thai basil. Crush the herbs gently to release the flavors. Let steep to infuse flavors.