The National Restaurant Association, in partnership with Choose Chicago and the Illinois Restaurant Association, announced the winner of the inaugural Chicago STARS Mixology Competition. Jarmel Doss, assistant bar director of The Aviary, bested nine other local mixologists to win a $2,000 cash prize. Presented by Beam Suntory, Real Cocktail Ingredients, and Maraschino Cherries; the competition was judged by Dean Serneels, director of beverage applications for American Beverage Marketers; and acclaimed mixologists and “World’s Best Bartender” champions, Charles Joly and Ago Perrone.
The two-round competition took place at Lettuce Entertain You restaurants newest private event hall The Dalcy (302 N. Green Street) which shares a third-floor space with Aba, the new restaurant with a rooftop patio from Chef CJ Jacobson. Doss advanced to the finals with her What's Sap With That? cocktail, featuring Maker’s Mark bourbon whiskey, Jägermeister, banana liqueur, creme de cacao, Palo Cortado sherry, maple vinegar, and ancho chile tincture. The drink garnished with a spray of Varnelli Punch Alla Fiamma Fantasia Liqueur.
In the final round of competition, Doss went head-to-head with bartender Alyssa Heidt of sister venue The Office. The two finalists created unique “dealers choice” cocktail using ingredients from Jacobson.
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