Post courtesy of talesofthecocktail.comimages-12

Tales of the Cocktail® in partnership with Mutineer Magazineannounces the winner of the 2012 Official Cocktail Competition. Dominic Venegas of NoMad Hotel is the winner for his original creation, the “Rum Row” Old Fashioned.

“Even after weeding out the entries that either didn’t meet the definition of an Old-Fashioned or called for house made ingredients without telling us what was in them (thus giving us no way to evaluate the recipe), there were still a couple of hundred worthy competitors, commented judge David Wondrich. “It was very difficult to choose–if it were up to me, we’d have at least ten winners, ten straightforward, simple drinks that kept the spirit in the foreground while still offering something different. And yet I’m completely satisfied with our winner–the simplest, most straightforward (yet different) of them all.”

Not surprisingly, the Old Fashioned is one of the world’s oldest and most storied cocktails. The cocktail references making the cocktail in an “old fashioned” way or by using the original definition of a cocktail: any spirit, sugar, water and bitters.

Venegas started working at the Tippler, an excellent high-volume cocktail lounge located underneath Chelsea Market that is run by the Tippling Bros, upon moving to New York City in November of 2011. He also helped open Basik, a comfortable neighborhood bar in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in December 2011. In March 2012, Venegas joined the opening bar team for NoMad Hotel under the guidance of Leo Robitschek and Jessica Gonzales. Their goal is to make NoMad the premiere hotel bar program in the country, if not the world. He has assisted numerous companies, such as Diageo, Fortune Brands and SKYY Spirits, with cocktail innovation and brand awareness.

 “It’s an honor and a privilege to be selected as the official drink of Tales of the Cocktail® 2012,” said Venegas. “I can only imagine how many fantastic bartenders – those of which I consider my contemporaries and idols – submitted their recipes. It’s an absolute honor to be chosen.”

The judges for the 2012 Official Cocktail Competition were Robert Hess, Chris McMillan and David Wondrich.

The three finalists are listed below:

  • Dominic Venegas of NoMad in New York City, creator of “Rum Row” Old Fashioned or NOLA Rum Row Old Fashioned
  • Charles Joly of The Drawing Room in Chicago, creator of Old Old Fashioned – The Pirate Edition
  • Avery Glasser of Amor y Amargo in New York City, creator of a l’Ancienne

Please see below for the Official Cocktail of Tales of the Cocktail 2012 10th Anniversary celebration. Venegas’ “Rum Row” Old Fashioned winning recipe:


Old Fashioned glass


1.25 oz. El Dorado 12 year old Rum

.75 oz. Bank’s 5 Islands Rum

.25 oz. water

1 barspoon (tsp) of Muscovado sugar

1 dash Angostura orange bitters

1 drop Bittermens Burlesque bitters

Naval orange peel, squeezed over and dropped in.


Place 1 barspoon of Muscavado Sugar in an Old Fashioned glass. Drop orange and burlesque bitters in sugar, add .25 oz. water, and add 3-4 cubes of ice. Stir for about 5-7 seconds. Pour in .75 oz. Bank’s 5 Islands rum and 1.25 oz El Dorado 12 year old rum. Garnish with a Naval Orange peel.

Venegas will receive $1,250 cash and his recipe will become the “Official Cocktail” of Tales of the Cocktail® 2012.  The winning cocktail and Venegas will be featured throughout the 2012 Tales of the Cocktail® events, in the 2012 Tales of the Cocktail® E-book and in Mutineer Magazine and Mutineer online publication.

The three finalist’s recipes are available online at

About Tales of the Cocktail®

Tales of the Cocktail® is the world’s premier cocktail festival, bringing together the most respected minds on mixology for five days of cocktails, cuisine and culture. Held annually in New Orleans, this international event has something for cocktail professionals and enthusiasts alike with a spirited schedule of seminars, dinners, competitions and tasting rooms where brands showcase their latest products. Tales of the Cocktail® returns in 2012 for a historic milestone—its 10th Anniversary of rocking the cocktail world. Join the celebration July 25-29, 2012 and see how Tales of the Cocktail® only gets better with age.