Michael Glassberg of Hotel Monteleone Wins Melodic Mixology Cocktail Competition

In June, OffBeat announced a new cocktail contest we co-sponsored along with Herbsaint: The Melodic Mixology Competition. The rules were simple: New Orleans-area bartenders were asked to make an original cocktail recipe that met three guidelines: 1. it used Legendre Herbsaint 100 Proof, 2. it used no more than 7 ingredients, and 3. the cocktail was named for a New Orleans-related song.

Michael Glassberg of Hotel Monteleone, winner of the Herbsaint-OffBeat Melodic Mixology Competition

Michael Glassberg of Hotel Monteleone, winner of the Herbsaint-OffBeat Melodic Mixology Competition

With almost thirty entries, there was a large pool of talented bartenders and delicious cocktails to choose from, but two weeks ago the contestants were narrowed down to five finalists.

The final judging was done Monday night at Bellocq in the Hotel Modern. The five finalists prepared their original cocktails for judges Kevin Richards of Sazerac, Ann Tuennerman of Tales of the Cocktail, and art director Elsa Hahne of OffBeat to the tune of their cocktail’s accompanying song.

The first-place prize went to Michael Glassberg of the Hotel Monteleone, whose cocktail “The Bell Gall” was paired with the song “I Ain’t Gonna Give Nobody None of This Jelly Roll” by singer/pianist Sweet Emma Barrett, of Preservation Hall fame.


For his award-winning cocktail, Glassberg won $500 cash, a two-night stay at his workplace, the Hotel Monteleone, two VIP tickets to the 2012 Voodoo Music Experience, a package of rare OffBeat back issues and set of OffBeat compilation CDs, and he and his winning drink, “The Bell Gal”, will be featured in the Herbsaint Lounge at Tales of the Cocktail on Saturday, July 28 from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Here are all five finalist from the Herbsaint/OffBeat Melodic Mixology Competition:


1st Place

Name: Michael Glassberg
Bar: Hotel Monteleone
Cocktail: The Bell Gal
Song: “I Ain’t Gonna Give Nobody None Of This Jelly Roll” by Sweet Emma Barrett
Ingredients: 1/2 oz lemon juice, 1/2 oz simple syrup, 6 mint leaves, 1 oz Legendre Herbsaint, 1 oz Lairds Applejack, 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Instructions: Muddle mint with lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Finely strain into an 8 oz mason jar. Top with Fever Tree club soda and gently stir to combine. Garnish with lemon wheel and mint sprig.

Second (Tie)

Name: Vincent Heintz
Bar: Coquette
Cocktail: The St. James Sour
Song: “St. James Infirmary Blues” by Louis Armstrong
Ingredients: 1 oz of Legendre Herbsaint, 3/4 oz of root liquor, 1/2 oz of simple syrup, 1/2 oz of lemon juice, 1/4 oz of lime juice, 1 egg white
Instructions: Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with Angostura bitters.

Second (Tie)

Name: Abigail Gullo
Bar: SoBou
Cocktail: Tango ‘Til They’re Sore
Song: “Tango ‘Til They’re Sore” by Tom Waits
Ingredients: 1 1/2 oz Pineau des Charentes, 3/4 oz Legendre Herbsaint Original 100 proof, 3/4 oz Cointreau, 3/4 oz lemon juice
Instructions: Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe rimmed with Demerara sugar.


Name: Don Lindig
Bar: Dickie Brennan’s
Cocktail: New Orleans Lady
Song: “New Orleans Ladies” by LeRoux
Ingredients: 3/4 oz Legendre Herbsaint 100 proof, 2 oz Dubonett Rouge, 1 oz Lillet Blanc, 1 oz Sprite, 1/2 oz lemon-infused simple syrup, 3 dashes orange bitters, 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Instructions: Pour all ingredients in a shaker, shake lightly and pour over ice in a Collins glass. Garnish with a licorice stick and with a candied lemon peel.


Name: James Syock
Bar: Iris
Cocktail: The St. James Souisee
Song: “St. James Infirmary Blues” by Louis Armstrong
Ingredients: 1 1/2 oz Legendre Herbsaint, 5 Dashes orange flower water, 2 dashes Tahitiian vanilla bean extract, 1/2 oz egg white, 1 cardamom pod (crushed), 3/4 oz Fabbri Orzata (orgeat syrup), 1 1/2 oz heavy cream
Instructions: Shake vigorously. Serve over crushed ice in a coupe glass. Garnish with shaved white chocolate.

  • Congrats to all. Especially you, Gator!