Cocktail Contest Entry #1

So there’s a cocktail contest being run by the Smithsonian. The goal? Design a cocktail inspired by the Star Spangled Banner. Well, as a student of history, I thought this might be fun to try and enter.

I’ll be posting my recipe ideas for the contest here. If you’d like to try it out, please do and let me know what you think! I’m looking for criticism regarding the drink’s balance, flavor, appearance, and overall appeal.

Here’s my first attempt. I don’t have a name for this yet, so Cocktail Contest Entry #1 will do for now.

BlurryCat is interested in the applejack.


– 1 oz Applejack Apple Brandy (preferably Bottled in Bond, if you can find it)

– 1 oz Dark rum

– 1 oz Rhubarb Shrub*

– 0.5 oz Brown Sugar Syrup**

– 1/2 egg white

Directions: combine all ingredients in a shaker. First, vigorously dry shake (without ice) to work up a nice foam. Then add ice and shake to chill. Strain into a glass and enjoy.

I find the drink to be decently balanced between sweet and tart, with the apple and rhubarb flavors coming through quite nicely. The egg white really smooths everything out and gives the drink a silky mouthfeel. You can taste the sweetness of the dark rum (the molasses flavor accentuated by the brown sugar syrup), and the effervescence of the apple brandy dances on the tongue with the nice thick foam.

One of the possible modifications I’ve tried already is adding a couple drops of Angostura bitters on the foam after straining, then using your barspoon (or a chopstick, or a knife, or your finger, or whatever) to make little stars for decoration.

*: Rhubarb Shrub


– Rhubarb, 4-5 stalks

– 1 cup unpasteurized apple cider vinegar

– 1 cup sugar

Following the recipe found here: chop the rhubarb into 1/2 inch cubes or so.  Place the chopped rhubarb, sugar, and apple cider vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then turn down the head and let cook for about 10 minutes.

Once cooked, strain through a fine mesh strainer and/or cheesecloth, put in a sealed jar and let it mature in the fridge. As it ages, the vinegar flavor will mellow, and it will be perfect after about a week. After that, it’ll last for several months.

**: Brown Sugar Syrup

Place equal parts brown sugar syrup and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cook until all the sugar is dissolved.

For those of you who test this out, thank you, and be sure to check back for more recipes to come! My goal is to submit two polished recipes to the contest. Thanks for reading, and cheers!

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