Mix-Up at Indy’s Beer, Wine, and Spirits Trade Show

Some of the city’s best ’tenders—including Libertine’s Neal Brown and Plat 99’s Michael Gray—gathered for a mixology competition at the Indiana Convention Center on Thursday. Here, some of the highlights, in photos.

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Some of the top bartenders in Indianapolis reached for their shakers to duel in a mixology competition at Thursday’s Beer, Wine, and Spirits Trade Show at the Indiana Convention Center. The event was hosted by the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers and the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association.

The winning cocktail was the Screw and Bolt by Libertine Liquor Bar owner Neal Brown, an exotic concoction of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, Smalls gin, simple syrup, orange-blossom water, and violet and tonka extracts.

A close second was the supremely balanced Wayworn Road by Plat 99’s Michael Gray, made from Backbone uncut bourbon, bitters, black peppercorn–and-thyme syrup, and a garnish of thyme sprig and lemon wheel.

The drinks were rated by a panel of judges including representatives from The Indianapolis Star, the Indiana Beverage Journal, and basilmomma.com—as well as IM executive editor Evan West.

Although the drink wasn’t recognized by the panel, West gave an unofficial honorable mention to the spicy Old Mexican from Jimmy Krier of The Usual Suspects—Casamigos tequila, mezcal, organic agave nectar, habanero bitters, and, for garnish, grapefruit peel and a whole red habanero frozen inside an ice ball.

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