This weekend marked the second annual Margarita Meltdown in Bishop Arts in Oak Cliff. Margaritas flowed freely and for many more hours than last year, lasting from 3 to 9pm and serving over 1,500 revelers. The winner of this year’s contest was Whiskey Cake from Plano with a team lead by bar-whiz Bonnie Wilson, who is certainly no stranger to cocktail competitions.
“This was actually a collaborative effort and we used Sean Conner’s concept, but had a terrific team that included Donna Aghaz, Taylor Costello and Amy Klein,” said Wilson this morning in a phone interview.
Sean Conner was not able to make the competition since his wife is moments away from giving birth to their child.
The winning Rita was actually a unique looking Popsicle that was loaded with tequila and had a smooth and creamy finish and Wilson lead her tram to victory with their perfect execution and style.
Organizer Nico Ponce said that the event shows how you can take a staple like a margarita and show how it can be made into a craft cocktail. “We had a lot of the city’s best bartenders come out to support this event, but in the end it was just a whole lot of fun,” said Ponce.
There were some pretty fantastic margaritas served including one from Four Lounge owner Keith Thomas LaBonte who made ” the Slurpee Watermelon Rita” using Four’s house made watermelon sauce then instantly frozen with liquid nitrogen at minus 320 degrees below zero.
The Pepper Smash cocktail also created by LaBonte was a “Cooked to order cocktail” oak smoked avocado tarragon margarita.
Hacienda on Henderson took second place and Sfuzzi won third in an electronic voting system that was set up using text messaging.
Ponce is also the coordinator of the Texas Craft Cocktail event that is coming up starting June 14, 2012 and will last four days with a special cocktail festival in downtown Dallas.