Press Releases

Five Mixologists to Face Off at First Town Branch Cocktail Contest Final Mix-Off

[LEXINGTON, Ky.] – The sound of five shakers crafting cocktails will ring from the rafters at Town Branch Distillery when five finalists in the first Town Branch Cocktail Contest will shake it out in front of five judges and a live audience on Monday, Aug. 4 to create the best cocktail using Town Branch® Rye and Ale-8-One. Town Branch® Rye was launched earlier this year and has quickly been embraced by bartenders for its spice and light notes of vanilla and oak that make it an ideal ingredient in a variety of cocktails.

The five finalists – all required to be working bartenders in Lexington, Versailles or Midway – were recently chosen after a public call for cocktail recipes using Town Branch® Rye and Ale-8-One. Tickets for the Aug. 4 competition from 6-9 p.m. are on sale now for $25 to the public on The price includes samples of the five drinks the mixologists will be making, food from Dupree Catering and Ale-8-One. On the line for the five finalists is $1,000 cash, cocktail naming rights and entrance into the Bourbon Social Barrel Cup Cocktail Competition in October. Cocktails will be judged on taste, presentation and creativity. The winner will be named that evening.

The five finalists competing in the Town Branch Cocktail Contest Final Mix-Off, along with their cocktail entries (all of which use Town Branch® Rye and Ale-8-One in the recipe), include:

Shayne Bates of Enoteca in Lexington: Bates’ “Pistacia Vera” cocktail recipe includes brown sugar, pistachio liqueur, Crème de Cassis, and Ale-8-One candied raspberries, making for a creamy, dessert-like drink.

Adam Geissler of Bour-Bon in Paris, Contract Bartender in Lexington: Geissler’s "Town Branch Sour" features lime juice, Town Branch® Bourbon, orange bitters, soda and a mild French apéritif with a red wine base, flavored lightly with quinine, coffee and bitter orange, creating a citrusy cocktail with notes of orange.

Jonathan Sizemore of Sutton’s Restaurant and Atomic Café in Lexington: Sizemore’s “A Late One on the Town” concoction features vanilla citrus liqueur, grapefruit bitters, fresh grapefruit, fresh ginger and vanilla bean cane sugar, creating a unique, layered flavor dimension designed to amplify the taste of a Southern favorite – bourbon and ginger ale.

Lauren Sundberg of Marriott Griffin Gate Hotel in Lexington: Sundberg’s “Rye You So Good?” cocktail features muddled fresh grapefruit and sage, creating a unique tart, earthy combination that enhances the depth of Town Branch® Rye, making for a savory cocktail.

Daniel Weeks of Shorty’s in Lexington: His “Town Toast” cocktail was inspired by French Toast with strawberry syrup and features muddled strawberry, vanilla, and cinnamon for a refreshing, crisp summer taste.

A free public event featuring the top mixologist and his or her signature cocktail will follow the Town Branch Cocktail Contest Final Mix-Off ticketed event on Aug. 4 at Town Branch Distillery at 401 Cross Street in Lexington. The public event is set for Thursday, Aug. 14 from 5-9 p.m. at Parlay Social on West Short Street in downtown Lexington.

Follow the latest news on the Town Branch Cocktail Contest and Town Branch Distillery on Twitter @TownBranch_KY.