Lexington, Kentucky-It's not everyday that a city's favorite "son" has a cocktail named in his honor. Recently however, Lexington, one of the greatest stallions of all time, received just that at a local cocktail competition.
Six bartenders from the Bluegrass Hospitality Group (a family of restaurants including Malone's, Sal's, Harry's, Drake's, Malone's Banquets and Aqua Sushi) competed in the first-ever "Big Lex Cocktail Contest". The contest, sponsored by the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau, highlighted the creativity of mixing cocktails with the country's only native spirit-bourbon.
Bartenders were required to use bourbon and could use up to an additional five ingredients. Additional points were given for using Kentucky Proud products. The goal was simple: to create a cocktail that embodies the heritage, spirit and innovation of Lexington.
The winning cocktail was the Kentucky Cobbler, created by Joshua Cecil who works at the Malone's Lansdowne location. The recipe features Maker's Mark bourbon, the official bourbon of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Cecil won a cash prize in addition to two hospitality passes to the Maker's Mark Bourbon Village at the Alltech Games. The prize-winning recipe is:
The Big Lex
1 1/4 oz. Maker's Mark
3 oz. simple syrup infused with KY Proud blackberries & strawberries
1 squeeze of orange or lemon
Splash of 7-up
"We are thrilled to have the official Big Lex cocktail," said Mary Quinn Ramer, vice president of tourism marketing for the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Big Lex has quickly become the beloved brand of the Bureau, and it seems only fitting that a cocktail be named in his honor, in his hometown. We know our guests and locals alike will enjoy an authentic dining experience and an original cocktail unique to Lexington at BHG's restaurants."
"Mixology has enjoyed a huge resurgence, and many bartenders across the country are rediscovering the art of cocktail making," noted Brian McCarty, co-owner of the Bluegrass Hospitality Group. "We thought creating a cocktail that celebrates both of Kentucky's signature industries-horses and bourbon-would be the perfect way for our restaurants to play a part in the upcoming Alltech Games. Congratulations to Josh!"
"The Big Lex" will be served at all Bluegrass Hospitality Group restaurants between now and the Alltech Games, which will be held September 25-October 10.