Restaurant: Olamendi’s Mexican Cuisine, Dana Point, CA
Creator: Jorge (George) Olamendi III
Inspiration: “The centuries-old, worldwide culture of creating spirits and drinking unique cocktails and wanting to be a significant part of this great tradition was my inspiration.”
Key Ingredients: Olamendi’s Anejo, Olamendi’s Orange Cognac Liqueur, fresh muddled mix (lime, lychees, spearmint leaves and red chile de arbol)
What the Judges Said: So you think you take your cocktail program seriously? You’ve got nothing on the Olamendi family. First they make their own tequila; world-class tequila using organic Weber’s blue agave that’s aged for five years in white oak barrels. They also work with the oldest cognac house in France to create their own brand of cognac liqueur. Who does that? There’s so much care taken in the creation of this cocktail, little things like the addition of lychees in their mix. After the first sip of this cocktail, you know you’ll be back again for another, and next time you’ll be better dressed because the Olamendis deserve your respect.