Well friends, I have some exciting news: I entered my first-ever cocktail competition. That may come as a surprise to you given how many drinks I’ve whipped up over the past three years. The truth is, I often struggle with impostor syndrome.
I worry about what “professional” bartenders will think of me, will they sit in judgment and deem my creation unworthy or overly simplistic? Do I know enough about this topic to speak on it with authority?
This recipe, the Snowcone Sophisticate, is my entry into the Mionetto Canada 3rd Annual Cocktail Competition. I had the help of my very talented friend, John-Finnigan Lin with the videography on this little number:
This is just the first phase of the competition. On August 9th, the top 10 finalists will be announced and be awarded a $200 cash prize, a bottle of Mionetto Prosecco snd a mystery box ingredient to use in a second Mionetto cocktail.
The mystery box concept is similar to what you’d see on the show Chopped. After submitting a second cocktail using the mystery box ingredient, the top three winners will be announced at the end of the month. The champion takes home $2,500! Keep your fingers crossed firmly crossed for me and go give the above video a like/comment/view just to show some love.
The concept behind this drink is a sophisticated, Italian spin on the Fall Fair classic – the snowcone. Instead of using unflavoured ice and pouring over a saccharine, neon-hued syrup, I’ve created a beautiful Honeydew Pisco Granita, a.k.a. Italian ice and am topping it off with Mionetto Prosecco.
I’ve molded the Honeydew Pisco Granita into a vintage mini bundt pan to create a stunning spiralized piece of edible, boozy ice. As the granita melts in the drink, the honeydew flavour will continue to intensify. Bonus: if you finish the Prosecco in your glass before the granita has fully melted. just top it up with more Prosecco! Problem solved.
The thing with impostor syndrome is that when you boil it down, it’s really just you getting in your own damn way. In the three years I’ve been blogging and sharing recipes, no one, not even the snootiest of bartenders, has ever called me out in a comment or said my drink concept or recipe was shit.
The other thing I’ve recently figured out is that, it’s all well and good to make advanced cocktails with all sorts of handcrafted tinctures, bitters, shrubs, and syrups, but if you only design drinks for other mixologists – not that many people will actually ever make them.
I think one of the main reasons that Virtual Happy Hour has flourished is that I focus on primarily making accessible cocktails with just a handful of ingredients. As such, it makes it easier for people to participate, regardless of whether they’re using a real shaker or hacking it with a mason jar – and as I always say, “It’s about participation, not perfection.”
Admittedly. some recipes require a little more legwork but as my audience continues to try their hands at cocktails, I know at least some of them crave a bit more of a challenge from time to time.
I promise to give you an update on whether or not I’ve advanced to the final stage of the cocktail competition next week! In the meantime, bust out your blender and try your hand at this refreshing summer sipper!
- 1/2 cup molded Honeydew Pisco granita
- 4 oz Mionetto Prosecco
- 1 mint leaf
- 3 cups fresh honeydew chopped
- 1/2 cup simple syrup
- 1/2 cup pisco
- 3 oz lime juice
- 1 tbsp fresh mint packed
Place molded honeydew pisco granita in a chilled coupe glass. Top with Mionetto Prosecco.
Spank one mint leaf and place on top of the granita. Serve.
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into 6 individual mini-bundt molds, each 1/2 cup capacity. Freeze until solid.