Anyone who knows me understands that rum tickles a very special place in my erogenous zones. Brugal, the brand that sponsored this month’s Fort Worth Weekly Stir competition held on Wednesday at Bird Cafe, has always been a particularly wonderful mistress to me. She’s that sassy little Dominican thang that shows up out of nowhere and gets you into the best kind of trouble. When I first got the call requesting my presence as a judge my only thoughts were “Did you say Brugal and cocktail competition in the same sentence?” That’s how you get me to show up at any place at any time you like.

At the risk of spoiling the drama, Chas from AF+B was the winner. The cocktail he made was a blend of rum, ginger, lemon, Orgeat, and carrot juice. That probably sounds weird to most readers, but let me tell you, all judges agreed that we would have preferred it been served in a fishbowl. I could have downed 10 of them and not felt guilty about what happened afterward. My only criticism, and what almost put this drink in second place, was that I couldn’t taste the Brugal. I know that most people reading this probably haven’t tried this rum before, but you should know that it has a very identifiable quality, but Chas’ ingredients masked some of the rum’s distinctive qualities. If Chas reworked this recipe to cut back on the non-alcoholic ingredients and allow the rum to shine (especially the Anejo) you wouldn’t be able to peel me away from the bar at AF+B with a tractor.

In a close second was Megan McClinton from Thompson’s Bookstore. When I say close second I mean that if the debate for the winner got any more intense we would have to agree to resolve our differences with a coin flip. Megan’s cocktail was very reminiscent of the New York style of cocktails that got me into this craft in the first place. She blended Brugal Extra Viejo, Aperol, and Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao. It was a perfectly concise drink recipe that was accented with a glass that was flamed with Batavia Arrack (a relative of rum distilled from sugarcane and red rice from the island of Java) and accompanied by a salted chocolate bar. Megan is behind the stick at Thompson’s on Fridays and Saturdays. I encourage everyone to stop in and give this cocktail a try.

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Brian Torres, the face of the popular watering hole Reservoir – Bar, Patio, Kitchen, ponied up a drink that was a blend of Brugal, 99 Bananas, and Rumchata. Although his concoction was was the panty dropper of the century, it seemed to fit more into a ’90s martini list than on a present day cocktail menu. It was tasty as well, but lacking certain components and ratios that are time tested axioms of the cocktail world. I’ve no doubt that his drink would be a hit at his bar, and I love the fact that more people in the volume bar world are trying their hand in the world of cocktails.

Michelle of Yucatan Taco stand took to the stage last. Although her drink included some ingredients that would make some of the more surlier craft bartenders twirl their waxed mustaches in angst, it totally made me want to book a trip to the Caribbean ASAP! There’s a certain point when a drink goes down so easy that I’m forced to abandon my preconceived notions and just have another. Also, it doesn’t hurt that she had a great personality and was very enthusiastic about what she was preparing. You’ll definitely be able to catch me, albeit in disguise, having another one of these.

On a personal note, Michelle told me that if I asked the management at Yucatan Taco Stand to start carrying Brugal Anejo again that they would. Consider this post as my formal request. I live right down the street, eat a lot of nachos, and always enjoy having a Brugal and Coke on a summer afternoon. I’ll make sure to keep all of you readers up to date. Enjoy Brugal responsibly…mic drop.