by Steven Doyle photos by Robert Bostick
The bartenders at The Dram were surprised when they showed up for a last minute staff meeting only to find Trina Nishimura waiting for them with a box of crazy ingredients. You know Trina from Cedars Social where she bartends and makes some pretty fantastic cocktails. Now Trina is the Dallas representative for the smooth and boozy Angel’s Envy, a divine small batch Kentucky whiskey. Angel’s Envy uses the unique process of finishing their bourbon in port wine barrels. Designed by Lincoln Henderson, the former Brown Forman master distiller and creator of Woodford Reserve, Angel’s Envy is the culmination of over 40 years experience in the distilling industry.
As the four bartenders wandered into their office they found unusual ingredients. “We have caper berries, cocoa nibs, and all sorts of sodas and syrups,” said Trina yesterday afternoon.
There were plenty of ingredients such as pickled peppers, olives, berries, tons of fresh herbs and vegetables. These were the ingredients the bartenders would use to make their version of the mint julep. The winner of the pop-up competition would get an envelope full of cash and a complimentary bottle of Angel’s Envy. In addition his drink would be featured at the Dram tonight in celebration of the Kentucky Derby.
Typically a mint julep would consist of crushed ice, whiskey, fresh mint and a simple syrup. It is a fairly heady drink that is alcohol forward.
As the competition started the judges took their places in front of the bar. Judges included The Windmill’s Charlie Papaceno, Trina and bar manager Dub Davis.
The drinks were expertly concocted one at a time with the judges taking their notes and sipping after each round. The final winner was Jason Burt whom used a homemade apple cider vinegar syrup, baked apple bitters, lemon juice and plenty of Angel’s Envy.
You can try Jason’s drink tonight at the Dram located on Henderson in Dallas. If you are making the rounds tonight, Trina will also be concocting her very own julep until 2am at Cedars Social.