Red Sled Winner 2015 WF RNDC Bartender Drink Contest

MRA_2165Stache 1920’s Drinking Den was the place to be on November 30th, as ten finalists competed to win the honor of creating the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade‘s 2015 #WinterfestCocktail. As the Winterfest Bartender Contest Chair, I have spent the last few months visiting the parade route restaurant and bars to encourage our local bartenders to get crafty and create a taste sensation to wow the judges. Over the next week, you will meet all the contestants and see their creative recipes.

The contestants were judged by the award winning RNDC Mixologist team: David Sewell-Ortiz, Lead Judge. Mixologist / Spirits Specialist at RNDC. Founding Chapter President of USBG Miami. Founding partner of the Alambiq brand consulting group and all around Miami bar guru, David lives and breathes the spirit life. Freddy Diaz, Thirsty Revivalist at Collectif 1806, President at AlambiQ and Ambassador for the Americas and the Caribbean at Les vergers Boiron and Cricket Nelson, Tales of the Cocktail, the United States Bartenders’ Guild and Bombay Sapphire EAST  “Most Imaginative Bartender”, the first-ever female to take the national title.​ My photographer, Jason Leidy, captured all the action and we can’t wait to share with our readers.

So, we start with the social media winning contender, who takes us back to her hometown in Poland with The Red Sled. Meet the animated and enchanting Anita Bogacz. Anita arrived in the US in  2012, from the Jordanow mountains of Poland, where she was raised.  She performed as an actress in Groteska (eng. Absurd) Theater of Poland and at regional play houses. And oh, by the way she has her Master’s degree in bio-technology, which may explain her creative recipes (how did she make that perfectly balanced grenadine syrup?). Her mixology adventure started in Paparazzi, Warsaw’s first cocktail bar, frequented by celebrities and socialites.  This part-time job unexpectedly became her art, her passion, her stage, and her audience: People having a great time!

How Did You Craft Your WinterFest Cocktail?

According to mixologists and food and wine magazines, sage is increasingly becoming a popular ingredient. This cocktail is a tribute and adaptation, of my grandmother’s original recipe for raspberry syrup, typically made during Christmas in the mountains of Poland.

Known for…

One of the first females featured in Warszawska Scena Barowa cz. 1 (Top Warsaw Bartenders), a hardcover coffee-table book.  The creations and stories of Poland’s top bartenders, told by Swiety z Bostonem, owner of one of the most famous cocktail bars in Poland.

Go-To Cocktail…

S​moked Old Fashioned, or any variation thereof. One of the first cocktails people try when they begin their journey down classic cocktail memory lane.

Must-Have Garnish

C​itrus peel. A must, for any cocktail standard.

Essential bar accessory

Liquor. Because the drinks are weak without it.

Favorite Style of Classic Cocktail

Cobbler. I enjoy taking advantage of fresh seasonal citrus, and locally grown herbs.


Check out the recap video:


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Renée Korbel Quinn | Mixology & Lifestyle Editor creating unique content for  ​Eye on South Florida. Mixing up the latest in craft cocktails, craft beers and culinary experiences. Read my BITES column in Go Riverwalk Magazine and socialize with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Member of the FRLA, USBG Miami, USBG Palm Beach and ​Tales 365.​ #GetSpiritedSouthFlorida #WinterfestCocktail #RNDCHappyHour

Interested in spirited experiences? Join our conSPIRITors by following our page #SpiritedSouthFlorida. Remember to #DrinkResponsibly  Get ready for the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade Date is Saturday, 12-12-2015.