NEW ORLEANS, La. — In the first year that The Fifty Best wine and spirits competition has held a ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktail tasting, both of the Handy & Schiller Barreled Cocktails claimed prestigious honors.
Handy & Schiller Old Fashioned and Handy & Schiller Manhattan competed among 71 contenders for their respective titles. The Old Fashioned was awarded the Double Gold medal, and the Manhattan was awarded a Silver medal.
The Handy & Schiller Old Fashioned is made using Buffalo Trace Distillery’s flagship Buffalo Trace Bourbon and Peychaud’s Bitters and is aged in Buffalo Trace barrels. The Handy & Schiller Manhattan is made using the award-winning Sazerac Rye Whiskey, vermouth, and Peychaud’s Bitters, and is aged in Sazerac Rye barrels. Both the Old Fashioned and Manhattan are barrel-aged in the warehouses at Buffalo Trace Distillery.
A panel of judges made up of wine and spirits journalists, spirits professionals, wine and spirit retailers, mixologists, spirits consultants, and connoisseurs blind-tasted the RTD cocktails and rated them individually on a five-point scale. After tallying the scores, medals were awarded based on the judges’ impressions.
These two barreled Cocktails are named for two people who had a great impact on the rich cocktail culture in New Orleans, Thomas Handy, and John Schiller. Schiller was a New York bartender who found his way to New Orleans and by 1860, began operating the world-famous Sazerac Coffeehouse in the French Quarter. Handy, originally from Maryland, worked for Schiller at the Sazerac Coffeehouse, and later went on to establish a successful importing and wholesale liquor business. Together, in New Orleans, these two people played a role in the early days of cocktail making that helped set the standard and inspiration for cocktails.
Sazerac is one of America’s oldest family-owned, privately held distillers with operations in the United States in Louisiana, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Maryland, California, and global operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, India, Australia and Canada.