Restaurant: Jeff Ruby’s Carlo & Johnny, Cincinnati
Creator: Paul Wright, corporate mixologist
Inspiration: To take the margarita to another level.
Key Ingredients: Cucumber-Jalapeno-infused Milagro Silver Tequila, pineapple shrub mixture, aged spice-rum mixture, lime juice and rum and orange bitters-soaked pineapple for garnish
What the Judges Said: “There’s a ton of labor that goes into the making of this drink, including the infusion of the tequila, the creation of the pineapple shrub mixture (which features apple cider vinegar) and the making of a spice-rum mixture, which has nearly 10 ingredients that age in a barrel for two weeks. We couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to go through this much trouble, and then we tasted the cocktail and we knew. It comes at you from several directions, leaving your mouth filled with heat, spice, sweetness and tartness. It’s like getting mugged in an alley by Sports Illustrated swimsuit models. We’d gladly stagger back into the alley for another.”