A Seasonal-Local Cocktail Competition We Can-Can Get Behind

This will be the first of several calls to cocktail action, but we just wanted to get the word out that Edible Communities, our parent publishing organization is partnering nationwide on a seasonal cocktail contest with St-Germain, the French elderflower liqueur.

The lovely floral liqueur might not be local, but it’s seriously artisanal, seeing as the elderflower blossoms are being collected by hand in the Alpine foothills this very spring as they are each year. These guys respect their indigenous ingredients, in other words. That’s why for their fourth annual competition — the Can-Can Cocktail Classic — they’ve asked us to help judge the entries from Manhattan and Brooklyn. The drinks should a) use St-Germain and b) taste great, but in Edible style, they should c) skillfully use local and fresh ingredients that really highlight their region and the season they’re meant to be served in, perhaps using such things as Tristar strawberries from Union Square Greenmarket and lavender from your community garden or Concord grapes or Newtown Pippin apples or The Stand’s Meyer lemon syrups or those bitters now being made right in the borough. You, no doubt, will come up with even better ideas. You have until the end of August to enter, and you can get more details and the entry form right here. Regional winners will then be in the running to score $10,000. That’s plenty to keep you in your cups for a good long while.

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Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.