Three American finalists, along with dozens of industry professionals, gathered at the House of Blues in New Orleans recently for the  Angostura U.S. Cocktail Challenge.

Elizabeth Mickiewicz from drumBAR in Chicago, Illinois was the winner of a $5,000 cash prize and a trip to Trinidad, where she will compete as the U.S. representative in The House of Angostura’s Global Cocktail Challenge in February 2016.

Angostura U.S. Cocktail Challenge finalists had seven minutes to prepare their two unique cocktail creations for a prestigious group of judges. The first cocktail required at least five dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters; the second cocktail represented the rum category where the competitor needed five dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters along with at least one ounce of any of the Angostura International Rums.

The five Angostura U.S. Cocktail Challenge judges, including Charlotte Voisey, Paul Clark, Philip Duff, Raymond Edwards and Mike Tomasic, last year’s Global Cocktail Challenge Winner, evaluated each finalist on taste, creativity and presentation.

The other two American contestants were Aaron Butler from L’Artusi in New York, New York and Harry Chin from Caña Rum Bar in Los Angeles, California.

Elizabeth’s winning Angostura U.S. Cocktail Challenge cocktail creations were The Lost Days and Trinidad Cobbler.

The Lost Days
2 ounces Letherbee Gin-Vernal 2015
1 ounce Lillet Blanc
3 dashes Angostura orange bitters
2 drops Saline Solution
1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters

Garnish: Orange Peel (Discarded) & Dehydrated Pineapple Flowers

Trinidad Cobbler
1 ounce Angostura 1919 Rum
1 ounce Lustau Amontillado Sherry
3/4 ounce Pineapple-Cinnamon Demerara
1/2 ounce Lemon Juice
8 Dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
half a muddled orange

Garnish: Mint bush, Pineapple half wheel, orange wheel, lemon zest and grated cinnamon