Article Contributed by
Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau
The Grape Discovery Center presented the award for 2015 Cocktail Creator Extraordinaire to Nicholas Dean, long time bartender at Forte Restaurant in Jamestown, for the best overall cocktail recipes created for an Evening of Cocktail Creations in December. During the first annual event, popular mixologists from Chautauqua County competed for the distinguished title by creating wine, beer and spirit-based cocktails made with craft beverages from Lake Erie Wine Country and the western New York region. Dean also won the People’s Choice Award for favorite cocktail with a tie between his Cracklin’ Rosie and Westfield Figgy Mule.
Andrew Dunnewold from Peek’n Peak Resort and Campbell Dawson from Ellicottville Brewing Company and the Chautauqua Lake Yacht Club also competed for the title. The three mixologists created original recipes using a predetermined list of wines, beers and spirits from the Lake Erie region. Each presented three cocktails, one of which included a secret ingredient, wild fig balsamic vinegar, revealed to them during the event. A panel of judges determined the best overall bartender and included Joe Town, certified sommelier, owner of WinewithJoe consulting, and general manager for Andriaccio’s Restaurant; Julie Ellis, director of Lake Erie Wine Country; Jason Toczydlowski from CHQ Local Food and the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce; and Amy Webb from Webb’s Captain’s Table in Mayville.
An Evening of Cocktail Creations was the second in a series of special events at the Grape Discovery Center promoting craft beverages from New York State and the Lake Erie region. The next event, An Afternoon of Spring Wines and Maple, will take place March 12, 2016 form 1-5 pm. Support for these events is provided by a grant through Empire State Development Corporation and Taste NY, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s initiative to promote the quality, diversity and economic impact of New York’s food and beverage industries.
Open year ‘round, the Grape Discovery Center showcases the history and heritage of the grape industry and serves as a welcome center for the Lake Erie grape region with a gift shop, tasting bar and exhibit area. For more information and to reserve tickets for the March event, visit www.grapediscoverycenter.com or call 716-326-2003.