Despite his use of brown sugar simple syrup, Scott's version of the Lemon Drop was more tart than the standard — not a bad thing for a drink with a cloying reputation. My favorite tweak was his version of the cocktail's sugared rim garnish, which employed honey, crushed lemon candy, and sea salt for a pluckier finish. For a more playful take on the traditional tipple, read more.
Five contenders — Ryan Scott, Jen Biesty, Mattin Nobila, Erik Hopfinger, and Laurine Wickett — made original cocktail recipes that incorporated the use of Fiji Water, a sponsor for the event, and I had the pleasure of guest judging the competition. In the end, Top Chef: Chicago's Jen Biesty came out on top with a well-balanced cucumber cocktail.
Jen Biesty named her cocktail The Fiji Facial after being inspired by a famous San Francisco spa. Her zen-like cocktail incorporates health-minded ingredients like ginger juice and organic cane sugar. To score the refreshing recipe — and check out photos from the event — read on.