Martini Italian Bistro wins Four Roses’ Rose Julep Contest

Jolly for Juleps!

Jolly for Juleps!

Sometimes my job is extremely taxing, and sometimes I get to taste seven mint juleps. Last night was the latter, and I was humbled to be a selected Rose Julep Contest judge at the annual Derby Festival/Four Roses “Festival Unveiled” event.

Four Roses master distiller Jim Rutledge and Rose Julep winner Colleen McCarthy-Clarke.

Four Roses master distiller Jim Rutledge and Rose Julep winner Colleen McCarthy-Clarke.

I — along with four other judges, including the Bourbon Babe — sipped and scored all seven takes on the classic mint julep. We judged the cocktails based on aroma, presentation, creativity and taste. The winner was Colleen McCarthy-Clarke from Martini Italian Bistro, whose “Rosé Runner” added a twist of rhubarb syrup to the mix, along with procecco, mint, lemon and rhubarb bitters … oh, and Four Roses Small Batch, of course. It was delicious and will be available at Martini on Monday.

McCarthy-Clarke also won the People’s Choice award, which ought to be reason enough to go try it yourself.

Second place for the judges’ choice went to Jason Stark, also of Martini Bistro, and third was Saints’ Pizza Pub’s Jennifer Jarvis and Bruce Jarrett. Second place for People’s Choice went to Troll Pub’s Karla Ramsey, and third place was the Saints crew again.

Now I am ready for spring to take hold of this city and commence the Derby fever. Mint juleps for everyone!

Oprah: “You get a mint julep!” “You get a mint julep!” “You get a mint julep!” “You get a mint julep!” “You all get a mint julep!”

The winning julep: Rosé Runner.

The winning julep: Rosé Runner.

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