Tupelo mixologist Trevor Brown takes home top Park City cocktail honors for the second year
The public has spoken and Trevor Brown, Tupelo’s mixologist, gets bragging rights for creating Park City’s most popular cocktail for the second year in a row.
Brown was happy to hear voters of the Park City Area Restaurant Association’s annual contest liked his new drink, “La Vaquera,” more than last year’s “Cherry in the Rye.”
“(They) find it to be more balanced, and it has a spicy character, which people seem to love,” Brown said during an interview. “When people in Park City choose the cocktails I’ve made for two years in a row; makes me guess I’m doing something right.”
The four-week contest closed on July 31, after Park City residents and visitors tried out an array of drinks created by mixologists from various bars and restaurants.
“We saw so many inventive summer themes in this year’s cocktails,” said PCARA executive director Ginger Wicks in a press release. “Huge congratulations to Trevor Brown for earning the coveted crown for the second year in a row.”
Brown will collect $200 for the win, and he and “La Vaquera” will be featured in PCARA’s Fall Dine About event marketing campaign, according to the release.
“La Vaquera,” which translates to “The Cowgirl,” mixes High West’s Double Rye whiskey, sherry, hibiscus grenadine, lemon juice and habanero lime bitters.
Brown began thinking about his summer cocktail in April, and considered different flavors that would make a refreshing drink during hot temperatures, he said.
“I tend to prefer whiskey, as do a majority of my clientele does,” Brown said. “So we knew we wanted to make a cocktail with High West whiskey in it, and the rest of the flavors fell in line after that.”
After choosing High West’s double rye, Brown added some hibiscus grenadine.
“That adds a floral, summery-sweet component, and we added in some citrus, in this case, lemon juice, to balance that out,” he said.
Brown then added some Pedro Ximenez sherry to give the mixture its dry texture, he said.
“After a few iterations, we felt the drink needed some heat, so we added two dashes of Bitters Lab habanero lime,” Brown said.
By Tupelo mixologist Trevor Brown
- 1.5 oz High West Double Rye
- .5 oz Lustau Pedro Ximenez Sherry
- .5 oz House-made Hibiscus Grenadine
- .5 oz Lemon Juice
- Two Dashes Bitters Lab Habanero Lime
Vigorously shake all ingredients. Double strain into rocks glass over large cube. Garnish with Ranui Gardens edible wildflowers, dehydrated lime and orange zest.
The mixologist finalized the cocktail in June and debuted it at Savor the Summit, Park City Area Restaurant Association’s summer-dining kick off.
Brown knew “La Vaquera” was something special, and he hoped the hype from his last year’s win would carry over to this summer.
“I at least felt we would be in the Top 3 this year, and it was exciting to find out we won,” he said. “I was hoping for it. Our fans came out in full force, and it worked out for us. It obviously means a lot for the restaurant.”
Brown began mixing drinks at Tupelo in July 2017, and enjoys working with the restaurant’s staff.
“I work with a phenomenal culinary team,” he said. “There are a lot of creative minds who think in a similar way, and all of our skills blend together to allow us to put forward a great product.”
The cocktail contest is an annual highlight for Brown.
“There’s a fun spirit, and everyone gets together around the competition,” he said. “All the mixologists get to put their best feet forward as far as the cocktail scene goes in Park City; it’s fun to see what creative minds the other bartenders in town have.”
For information, visit parkcityrestaurants.com.
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Park City High School sophomore Emily Bronstein founded the Seraphine Project that helps at-risk teens in Zimbabwe and Zambia.