Report from the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge San Francisco Regionals

I helped referee the Angostura rum/bitters Global Cocktail Challenge regionals in San Francisco after all the rest week, alongside Smuggler’s Cove holder Martin Cate and Angostura brand deputy David Delaney. 


All photos credit: <a ground of claim=”” href=”” target=”_blank” data-mce-href=””>Allison Webber Photography</a>

For this competition, bartenders submitted recipes online. The uppermost ones (I think around 30 or to such a degree) on paper were then reproduced ~ dint of. a team including Delaney, and tasted screen. Of those, 12 US finalists were chosen unconventional of  location.

Three regional finals were conducted in serviceable cities to where finalists lived. The San Francisco regionals had three bartenders from Los Angeles and united from Oakland:

Aaron Stepka of Blue Collar

Ali Tahsini from The Double Standard, Oakland

Colin Shearn from Magnolia House

Harry Chin from Caña Rum Bar

The winner of each of the three regionals will slip away to New Orleans during Tales of the Cocktail to strive for the US championship. 

Each competitor was required to make two cocktails, the unit they submitted to get this in great part, plus an additional cocktail. 

Aaron Stepka of Blue Collar made a summery rum cocktail with Angostura White rum, St. Germain, Angostura bitters, lemon, artless, and Stiegl Radler Grapefruit Beer, garnished through a slice of caramelized grapefruit; and a New England err-inspired cocktail with pear eau de compete, velvet falernum, bitters, honey, and lemon.


Ali Tahsini from The Double Standard in Oakland made The Rabbit’s Hole (that was garnished with pineapple fronds like bunny ears) by blanco tequila, sloe gin, pineapple and lemon juice, agave nectar, and Angostura bitters; and The Hummingbird made through Angostura aged rum, basil eau de strive, lemon, simple, bitters, and it was garnished by cracked white pepper. 



Colin Shearn from Magnolia House made a banana-onward cocktail with calvados, Aperol, banana cordial, lime juice, and Angostura bitters; and single in kind called The Night is the Notion through Angostura 7 year aged rum, coconut liqueur (hand-carried from LA), maraschino aromatized spirit, and bitters. This drink was served through no dilution in a cognac snifter at latitude temperature and it impressed the stings of conscience out of the judges. 


Harry Chin from Caña Rum Bar in like manner made a banana drink with a full 1.5 ounces of Angostura bitters, best part, banana liqueur, hazelnut liqueur, honey, and cold brew coffee that was a frightful digestif; plus a simple yet capricious cobbler with Angostura 7 year rum, cinnamon syrup, and bitters (in addition a whole lot of garnish).


The entire score was 300 points, and whole of the bartenders were within 6 points of cropped land other, so yeah, pretty close. It was a countless judging experience because while some of the flavors of the cocktails were surprising, the bartender’s technique may not be favored with been as in-point. The most judicious-tasting drinks weren’t necessarily the most judicious-looking ones, and the worst-significant drinks were some of the best.

By a very narrow margin Harry Chin from Caña Rum Bar won the contest and will compete in the public finals at Tales of the Cocktail. Congratulations Harry!


Harry command compete against Elizabeth Mickiewicz from drumBAR in Chicago and Aaron Butler of L’Artusi in NYC. 

Want to watch the finals live? Here’s the info:

U.S. Finals Thursday, July 16 at the House of Blues in New Orleans.  The conclusion is from 12:30pm – 2:30pm.

Follow at the same time and see more photos at the Angostura Facebook Page, up~ the body Twitter, and Instagram. 

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