BY BRADLEY HAWKS
On Monday, Jan. 4, The Bonnie hosted the inaugural evening of The Queens Cup, a competition designed to showcase some of the most delicious cocktails created by some of Astoria’s most gifted mixologists.
Bartenders and fans gathered in the back room of The Bonnie, where the drink wizardry was underscored by Spotify playlists chosen by each featured bar. Participants were asked to use Bulleit Bourbon as a spirit base, to be mixed with a maximum of five ingredients. The panel of judges scored each cocktail on originality, appearance, aroma, taste and creativity, while the audience also voted for a People’s Choice recipient.
The Queens Cup was awarded to Sweet Afton, where the botanical genius of Mike Di Tota blended “The Holy Pilgrimage,” which employed sumac-infused Bulleit, rose petals, garam masala and lemon. His spicy floral libation won Sweet Afton not only The Queens Cup, but $250 to be donated to a charity of choice.
The People’s Choice Award went to The Pomeroy, which served “Romance Under Hell Gate”—a blend of Bulleit, chile-infused crème de cacao, Cointreau and a garnish of shaved chocolate.
In addition to the winners, strong showings were offered by Mar’s, The Ditty, Sekund Sun, Sanford’s, Pachanga Patterson, Diamond Dogs, Sparrow Tavern, William Hallet and The Bonnie. From bruleed marshmallows to cornhusks and star anise, creativity was the common theme. Rarely has one roof held such diverse talent in the world of cocktails. It was a breath of fresh air to see familiar faces from so many favorite bars coming together to support one another.
“I felt like we won just being a part of the event,” said Mike Elezovic of Diamond Dogs. “Brooklyn and Manhattan get all the love, so it’s great to see all the Astoria bars becoming ever so tight-knit. We have something special going. And just being a part of it is the only award we need.”