Miami's Robert Montero from Yardbird Wins Cocktail Challenge Finals at Tales of the Cocktail

This past week at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, Miami’s Robert Montero of Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, won the Marie Brizard Cocktail Challenge with his cocktail, “Sunny Crusta.”

Robert received a cash prize of $1,000 and a complimentary trip to represent the U.S. this November in the 30th annual Marie Brizard International Bartender Seminar and Competition in Bordeaux, France where he will be competing against top mixologists and bartenders from across the world who will all be preparing their original Marie Brizard cocktail to be sampled and judged by an expert panel.

The Marie Brizard USA Cocktail Challenge Finals consisted of 6 contestants judged on technique, appearance, aroma and taste battling for the coveted spot to represent the U.S. in the 30th annual Marie Brizard International Bartender Seminar and Competition this November in Bordeaux, France.

U.S. CHAMPION: “Sunny Crusta” (Robert Montero, Miami- Yardbird Southern Table & Bar)

Robert Montero Yardbird Winning Cocktail½ oz     Marie Brizard Orange Curaçao

¾ oz      Marie Brizard Blackberry

1 ½ oz    Tequila Ocho Blanco

¾ oz      Grapefruit Juice

½ oz       Lime juice

¼ oz      Agave Syrup

Directions: Shake ingredients together and strain into a sugar-rimmed wine glass. Garnish with a grapefruit peel and 3 Filthy Black Cherries.


RUNNER-UP: The “Made” Cocktail (James Menite, NYC- Crown)

1 oz        Marie Brizard Anisette

½ oz     Cynar

½ oz     Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

½ oz     Italian Espresso

½ oz      Egg white infused with coffee beans

Directions: Mix ingredients together and pour into standard coupe. Garnish with star anise, Italian honey and shaved Meyer lemon.


Contestants Recipes


Chris Marty – The Point, Chicago

 “Me No Laugh”

¾ oz. Marie Brizard Orange

1 ½ oz. Arran 10 year Single Malt Scotch

¾ oz. Gabriel Boudier Marasquino

¼ oz. Cruzan Black Strap Rum

1 dash Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters

Directions: Add ice to mixing glass and stir ingredients together. Strain cocktail into chilled coupe. Garnish with one slice of 3 month-aged Manchego cheese, rind-on, and one slice of Extra-Aged (minimum 1 year) Gouda cheese, rind-on. Notch cheese slices opposite rind.


Joe Alessandroni – Local Edition, San Francisco

 “La Flama Blanca”

¾ oz Marie Brizard Chocolat Royal Liqueur

½ oz. Marie Brizard Essence Spicy Mix

¼ oz. Marie Brizard Essence Cannelle

1 ½ oz. Ron Zacapa 23yr Rum

¼ oz. Smith and Cross Rum

1 oz. Organic coconut milk

Directions: Shake ingredients and double strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a cayenne/cinnamon marshmallow. Brûlée the marshmallow with a torch.


Emilio Tiburcio – The Light Group, Las Vegas

 “Desirer Tropicale”

½ oz. Marie Brizard Liqueur de Cassis

½ oz. Marie Brizard Essence Thé

1 ½ oz. Leblon cachaca

1 oz. Fresh lime juice

1 oz. Homemade ginger infused simple syrup

Mango air foam

Directions: Stir ingredients together and pour into high ball glass. Garnish with a wild Hibiscus flower soaked in rose water syrup and small mango ball inside of the flower.


Jon Parsons – Sam’s, Boston

 “Mister Loan”

½ oz Marie Brizard White Cacao

½ oz. Marie Brizard Essence Jasmine

2 oz. Bourbon

1 oz. Abita Turbodog Ale


Directions: Shake ingredients together and strain into martini glass. Garnish with cayenne pepper and jasmine flower.



  • Laura McMillian, Managing Director  – Museum of the American Cocktail
  • David Ransom, Journalist – The Tasting Panel
  • Yuri Kato, Beverage Alcohol Consultant – Publisher of Cocktail Times
  • Max Solano, Master Mixologist – Las Vegas
  • Tricia Alley, Director of Mixology – Southern California – Southern Wine and Spirits
  • Paulo Desousa, Secretary – USBG, New York Chapter

About Marie Brizard

Marie Brizard Liqueurs, created in Bordeaux, a world renowned region for its tradition of quality wines, is one of the world’s most venerable producers of liqueurs and drinks crafted from plants, fruits and spices. Founded in 1755, Marie Brizard made its name with its signature aniseed liqueur, later to become the Marie Brizard Anisette. Marie Brizard includes a wide range of cocktail-based liqueurs, spirits, and syrups.  The Marie Brizard brand of liqueurs has an unrivaled reputation throughout the world.  For more information, visit us on Facebook at


About Imperial Brands, Inc. 

Imperial Brands, Inc. is an importer and marketer of distinctive spirits, most notably, the record breaking Sobieski Vodka.   Headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., it is a U.S. subsidiary of Belvédère S.A., one of Europe’s largest producers and distributors of white spirits and wines. Belvédère S.A. operates production and distribution units in Poland, France, United States, and other countries and additionally owns subsidiaries in Europe and South America. For more information, please visit

About Editor

Cassandra Rosen is the co-founder and Editor for Crave Local Media Network, an internationally recognized food, wine, and lifestyle blog. With a diverse career including international finance, design, and architecture, Cassandra has put her expertise at understanding buyer purchasing patterns and strategic partnerships to work for highly successful startups, as well as Fortune 500 brands. As a food and wine expert and judge, she has consulted on industry topics and cocktail trends for Bravo TV, Shape, Prevention, Reader's Digest, Swaay, Brides Magazine, and more. Along with her husband, she is now co-founder and lead partner at FK Interactive, a wine and spirits brand consulting and product development agency, located in Winter Park, Florida. She specializes in consumer analytics and strategic partnerships, and volunteers in the community each weekend as an educator.

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