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The Esquire Manhattan Woodford Reserve and Esquire Magazine Well Crafted ManhattanWoodford Reserve bourbon tells that they are once again teaming up with Esquire magazine and this year giving eligible bartenders and at-home mixologists the chance to win a trip to New York City as part of the Craft the Ultimate Manhattan contest beginning this fall. Last year, we took you from Louisville, Kentucky to New York with our contest coverage and shared cocktail recipes that the competitors entered along the way.

This year, from September 15 to November 30, eligible consumers are encouraged to submit their own recipe online at Entries will be judged in the categories of taste, name, ingredients, creativity and presentation, and recipes must include Woodford Reserve bourbon as the primary ingredient. One grand prize winner will receive a trip for two to Manhattan, while second and third place winners will receive prizes from Woodford Reserve and Esquire. Winners will be notified on or about December 20. Official rules are available at*

“Woodford Reserve is a hand-crafted bourbon with exceptional smoothness and is the cornerstone of a well-balanced Manhattan cocktail,” Laura Petry, Woodford Reserve brand manager tells “Along with our partners at Esquire, we look forward to crowning the winner of the Craft the Ultimate Manhattan Contest.”

In addition to the online consumer contest, Woodford Reserve and Esquire will host a series of bartender exhibition events in select U.S. markets in October and November. Bartenders will showcase their own well-crafted Manhattan cocktails during The Manhattan Experience events. Five finalists in every city will be chosen prior to each event from recipes submitted online and the bartenders’ creations will be judged by a panel of experts. The regional winners will then showcase their Manhattans during an exclusive event New York City on January 10, 2011.

The Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience bartender exhibition schedule is below:

• Monday, October 4: New York, NY

• Tuesday, October 12: Jersey City, NJ

• Monday, October 18: Seattle, WA

• Monday, November 8: Houston, TX

• Monday, November 15: Versailles, KY

Along with observing some of the nation’s best mixologists in action, attendees to The Manhattan Experience events will also be able to bid on auction items from Woodford Reserve and Esquire throughout the evening. Woodford Reserve will also donate $2 for every person who attends each event. All proceeds from the auctions and attendance will benefit the Culinary Institute of America.

To celebrate the spirit of crafting the ultimate cocktail, Esquire magazine’s resident mixologist David Wondrich has developed the Esquire Manhattan featuring Woodford Reserve. The cocktail recipe is as follows:

Esquire Manhattan featuring Woodford Reserve

1.5 to 2 oz Woodford Reserve
1 oz Martini & Rossi red vermouth
1/2 oz Fernet Branca

Stir well with cracked ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass and twist swatch of thin-cut orange peel over the top.


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