Cris Dehlavi has done it again. Columbus’ master mixologist recently won a United States Bartenders’ Guild competition sponsored by Don Q rum. The event featured some of Ohio’s top bartenders, all of whom are guild members. Dehlavi bested them all with her Refresco cocktail.
The competition was a pressure-filled, timed event evaluated by three judges based on taste, presentation and creativity. The rules required that one of Don Q’s rums be used and that the cocktail be representative of Puerto Rico, home of the brand’s distilleries. A fourth judge measured the contestants’ bartending “skills” — proper pouring and measurement techniques, handling of the glassware, etc.
“I’ve done so many competitions, but this one had really strict rules. And that seven minutes goes by really fast,” said Dehlavi of having to mix four cocktails during that time.
Dehlavi believes she won not just because the Refresco is a well-crafted, tasty cocktail (served in a fittingly festive glass from Dehlavi’s own collection) but also because all of the ingredients are native to Puerto Rico. She said using sugar cane — which is fermented to become rum — as a garnish impressed the panel.
As the representative of Ohio, Dehlavi heads to the Manhattan Cocktail Classic in New York City on May 11-15 to compete against the winners from the 30 other USBG regions. The winner goes to Puerto Rico for the international finals.
Make a Refresco:
1.5 oz. Don Q Anejo rum
1 oz. fresh pineapple juice
1 oz. fresh guava juice
.5 oz. Luxardo Maraschino cherry liqueur
Mix ingredients together and stir. Pour over ice.
Garnish with a pineapple wedge and leaf, fresh sugar cane and Luxardo cherry.