New Providence craft cocktail venue Needle & Thread set the stage for the COVID-19-modified Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience Rhode Island 2020 state finals, with its bar lined with plexiglass and all participants masked. The annual cocktail competition, sponsored by Brown-Forman, selects the best classic Manhattan cocktail and one innovation cocktail from each competing bartender, using Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey as the base spirit. Hosted by Kristen Cubicciotti, Market Manager, Brown-Forman, competitors Christina Mercado, ShakeStirPour; Perry Miller, Chophouse Grille; and Matt Simmons, Mill’s Tavern, presented their creations to judges Lindsay Jefferies, Market Manager, Brown-Forman, and Hunter Lemoi, Sales Consultant, Horizon Beverage Company, Fradin Division. Mercado won the event for her Manhattan, 1101, and her original cocktail, Walk the Line, featuring Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, coconut oolong tea, cardamon-vanilla syrup and a nut milk blend including almonds, macadamias and cashews, garnished with bourbon-soaked tapioca strips.
Photos by Laura Widness.