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2014 Best Cocktails in America: Cocoa Branca

Not only has America’s love for cocktails grown tremendously in recent years, so has the skill of those who prepare them. Restaurant Hospitality’s editorial staff selected 29 top cocktails prepared by mixologists around the country. See all winners >>

Category: Rum

Restaurant: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, multiple locations

Creator: Maeve Pesquera, national wine director

Inspiration: Creating a balance between the bitter and sweet.

Key Ingredients: Zaya 12-year Rum, Fernet Branca, simple syrup and half-and-half

Price: $12.95

What the Judges Said: “The idea of mixing rum and Fernet together seemed crazy to us, but the simple syrup took off the rough edges and the half-and-half smoothed this cocktail into something surprising. A bittersweet cocoa flavor surfaced and combined nicely with the eucalyptus notes from the Fernet. Even those who dislike rum and hate Fernet would love this cocktail, which made us consider for a moment placing it in the dessert cocktail category. This was one of the nicest surprises of the competition.”

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TAGS: Drink Trends
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