Cocktails and Coasters: The Cocktail Winners at Chicken Fight!

BY Steph Wilson

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At Denver’s iconic Chicken Fight! fest, while the clatter of roller coasters filled the air, another kind of thrill was being crafted at the hands of the city’s best mixologists. Every restaurant teamed up with a notable spirit brand and whipped up a cocktail specifically tailored to elevate their dish. And the people were free to try them as they went zig-zagging from booth to booth, their hands juggling a cocktail and a plate while wearing big ole smiles on their faces. Chicken Fight! fest was fun. If you missed it, you missed out. The FOMO you’re feeling is well deserved (and can be prevented next year with a quick ticket purchase, just saying). 

Navigating the festival was like an adventure, with attendees zig-zagging from booth to booth, their hands often juggling a cocktail and a plate. Amid this lively concoction of flavors, some mixtures stood out more than others. So, join us as we raise our glasses to the Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice winners of the cocktail competition at Chicken Fight! fest 2023. We’re already thirsty for more. 

The People’s Choice: Cocktail Competition

1st Place: Williams & Graham with Dos Hombres

WIlliams & Graham’s original cocktail menu (umm, I wanna Dontchu Wanna, Wanna Matcha—how good does that look?) has earned them the street cred as one of the best beverage lounges in town. Don’t believe me? Head over there and order the Diosa Verde—tequila, Sotol, tomatillo, kiwi & Anaheim pepper shrub, lime, Topo Chico. It’s funky and vegetal with a little pop of spice. And it’s just a small taste of what they can do.

2nd Place: Tony Tenderonis with Casamigos

Everybody’s new favorite sports bar came out gunning for the glory of a win—and proved that they know how to mix tequila with the best of them. Serving a cocktail made with Casamigos, this Handsome Boys Hospitality joint for all things chicken, sports, and beer clinched the gold medal from our panel of expert judges and the silver medal in the People’s Choice. Go big or go home, and these guys are never ready to go home.

3rd Place: Welton Room with FatHouse

Truthfully, it’d have been a surprise if Welton Room didn’t place in the cocktail competition. I mean, have you seen their drinks? (I don’t know if the rubber ducky bubble bath or this spooky Halloween cocktail is my favorite.) They’re elaborate coiffable works of art—performance art, in some cases. But it’s not just for show; Welton Room’s team knows how to mix up a good drink. At Chicken FIght!, they worked with the fat-washed spirits of FatHouse Spirits. What is fat-washing, you ask? It blends the rich flavors of fat with the flavors of premium spirits. The result is a velvety sip that holds up on its own beautifully or can add extra depth and mouthfeel to any cocktail. And who doesn’t love a good mouthfeel?

The Judge’s Choice: Cocktail Competition

1st Place: Tony Tenderonis with Casamigos

Everybody’s new favorite sports bar came out gunning for the glory of a win—and proved that they know how to mix tequila with the best of them. Serving a cocktail made with Casamigos, this Handsome Boys Hospitality joint for all things chicken, sports, and beer clinched the gold medal from our panel of expert judges and the silver medal in the People’s Choice. Go big or go home, and these guys are never ready to go home.

2nd Place: Guard and Grace with William Grant & Sons

Led by mixologist Jacob Pike (who you may know from the Garnish Games and the Ritual Makers), the Guard and Grace beverage brigade mixed it up with William Grant & Sons, maker of brands like Glenfiddich, Grant’s, and Hendrick’s, to name a few. Top-shelf spirits for a top-shelf competitor, and the combo proved to be an award-winning pair according to the panel of expert judges.

3rd Place: Cleaver & Co. at Junction Food with Remy Cointreau

Discover the delectable offerings of Cleaver & Co. at Junction Food, where they took 3rd place in a culinary competition Chicken Fight featuring Remy Cointreau. Their Peach Cobbler Spritz, made with Metaxa Greek Spirit, Peach Puree, Lemon, Bubbles, and Basil, is a delightful concoction that tantalizes the taste buds. While Cleaver & Co. is renowned for their mouthwatering grilled burgers and a tempting array of fried chicken options, don’t overlook their hot, crispy fries and legendary shakes that complete this culinary experience.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steph Wilson

Steph Wilson is a writer, editor, and creative maximalist in Denver. She makes magazines for a living and throws color around the world like confetti for fun.

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