After weeks of recipe submissions, blind judging, tasting parties across every coastal county and fanatical levels of online voting, the “Cat Island Cruiser” a cocktail created by Catherine “Cat” Ryan, Bar Manager at Bacchus on the Beach in Pass Christian, has made cocktail history as the “Official Cocktail of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”
Cat’s easy-to-mix Cat Island Cruiser recipe includes Rougaroux Sugarshine Rum, mango, mint and cilantro simple syrup, lime and club soda, and it can be easily customized to use either fresh or pureed mango for individual cocktails or batch recipes.
“Rougaroux Rum would like to thank Eat Y’all, Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast, and all of the people involved in naming the Official Cocktail of The Mississippi Gulf Coast,” said Johnny Culpepper, Vice President of Sales & Operations at Donner Peltier Distillers, the makers of Rougaroux Rum. “A special thank you to the cocktail community and Cat, Debbie, Jessy and William for their time, effort and delicious drinks. Now the fun begins, we ask the residents of Mississippi, the bars and restaurants, and retail stores to support the winning cocktail and truly make this Cat Island Cruiser a part of Mississippi!”
As the winner, Ryan and her cocktail will be featured in numerous publications and media spots locally and beyond, and the cocktail will be the subject of a commissioned painting by one of the Coast’s hottest local artists, Julie Trotter of Biloxi. Her home restaurant, Bacchus on the Beach, also earns the privilege of hosting the Launch Party for the new Official Cocktail, tentatively planned for May 9, 2017.
About the Official Cocktail Selection Process
In March, Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast partnered with Donner Peltier Distillers, makers of Rougaroux Rums, and Eat MS Coast to name a single cocktail as the Mississippi Coast’s signature cocktail, the “Official Cocktail of the Mississippi Coast.”
The effort involved recipe submissions by bartenders, chefs or cooks from restaurants in Mississippi’s three coastal counties. The submissions were then evaluated by a panel of judges comprised of culinary professionals from outside of the region who participated in a series of blind taste tests. This group included James Beard Award winning Executive Chef Tory McPhail and six others.
Cocktail enthusiasts then had the chance to vote for their favorite of the finalists online from April 1 thru April 15. They also voted at live tasting parties held across the Mississippi Gulf Coast the second week in April.
The remaining three finalists made an outstanding showing, making this a close race! The other finalists in the contest were as follows:
- Debbie Davis from The Sycamore House in Bay St. Louis
- Jessy Gazaway from Patio 44 in Biloxi
- William Hennis from Murky Waters BBQ & Blues in Ocean Springs
This is Just the Beginning!
We can’t wait to share the winning cocktail with the world by getting all of our local restaurants involved in serving the cocktail and sharing the spirit of the Mississippi Gulf Coast with local patrons and visitors alike.
More details and tickets for the Launch Party will be released later this week, and many future promotions using the new official cocktail to the promote culinary tourism on the Mississippi Gulf Coast are planned. Watch the website at www.eatmscoast.com and the Eat MS Coast Facebook and Instagram pages for details as they’re released.
Cheers to the “Official Cocktail of the Mississippi Gulf Coast!”
About the Partners
Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast is an organization charged with promoting South Mississippi as a tourism and convention destination worldwide. Its mission centers on attracting ever-increasing numbers of leisure, convention, sports and business visitors to the area. It is dedicated to maximizing the travel and tourism industry for South Mississippi. To learn more, visit gulfcoast.org.
Eat MS Coast (EatMSCoast.com) helps locals and visitors alike discover the best local eats and culinary events on the Mississippi Coast. Eat MS Coast and its sister brands, Eat Jackson (EatJackson.com), The Mississippi List (MississippiList.com) and Eat Y’all (EatYall.com), are locally owned and operated by Eat Cities, LLC, a Gulfport company. Follow Eat MS Coast on social media at @eatmscoast.
Donner Peltier Distillers is located in the small town of Thibodaux, Louisiana and is the makers of Rougaroux Rums, LA1 Whiskey, and Oryza Vodka and Gin.