Japanese Blossom from the Tap Room at the Langham Huntington Voted Cocktail of the Year 2018 at the Taste of Pasadena at the Rose Bowl

Guests at Taste of Pasadena voted for their favorites in a live taste-off to conclude of SIP-tember Cocktail Bracket Challenge


Voters at the 2018 Taste of Pasadena at the Rose Bowl voted the Japanese Blossom from the Taproom at the Langham Huntington hotel the winner of the SIP-tember Cocktail Bracket Challenge. Pasadena’s Cocktail of the Year 2018 won out over the SOS from White Horse Lounge, the Money or Your Life from the Otis Bar at La Grande orange Café and the old Town Bell from Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. The Taproom has been a finalist in the SIP-tember Cocktail Bracket Challenge but is a first time winner. The Japanese Blossom is made with Kikori Japanese Whisky, Yuzuri Liqueur, Lemon and Orange juice and Lavender Syrup.

The other competition drinks were:

  • Fleming’s Prime Steak House and Wine Bar: The old Town Bell made with Plymouth Gin, Fresh Basil and Bell Pepper ;
  • The Otis Bar at La Grande Orange Café: Money or Your Life made with Bourbon, Benedictine, Combier and Orange Bitters;
  • White Horse Lounge: SOS made with Glenfiddich 12 Year, House Made Nectarine Purée, Velvet Falernum, Green Chartreuse, Lemon Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Tajin and Nectarine Vapor.

“This year’s competitors were all top notch and it was very competitive,” said Pasadena Chamber CEO Paul Little. “each of the cocktails were creative, complex, inventive and delicious. Each of the four finalists could easily have been named Cocktail of the year. Congratulations to the bar staff and mixologist from the Taproom.”

The Taste of Pasadena also featured food samplings from some of the Pasadena’s area’s favorite restaurants. 400 guests enjoyed food and drink from many Pasadena favorites, including POP Champagne Bar and Restaurant, Cabrera's Restaurant, Sushi Roku, Fleming’s, White Horse Lounge, El Cholo, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Pasadena Sandwich Company, Stonefire Grill, Twohey’s and Foothill and more. Spirit and wine tastings were provided by Old Oak Cellars and Stark Spirits, both of Pasadena.  

Entertainment was provided by Dance Syndicate, whose DJ John Villa had the crowd dancing all evening.

The SIP-tember Cocktail Bracket Challenge is a friendly competition among local bartenders to determine Pasadena’s Cocktail of the Year. 32 drinks were entered in a head-to-head bracket competition. Over three rounds, online voters narrowed the field to the four finalist cocktails. Restaurants that took part in the competition were: Mi Piace, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, Bistro 45, Foothill, White Horse Lounge, The Mixx, Roy's Hawaiian, Ruth's Chris Steak House, True Food Kitchen, Vertical Wine Bistro, Lucky Baldwin's Trappise Pub, Trejo’s Cantina, La Grande Orange - Otis Bar, Taproom at the Langham Huntington Hotel Pasadena, Fleming's Prime Steak House and Wine Bar, El Cholo and Del Frisco's Grille


Gold Sponsors of SIP-tember and the Taste of Pasadena are The City of Pasadena and Wells Fargo. Sierra Family of Dealerships was the automotive sponsors and displayed cars at the event.

The Rose Bowl Stadium generously hosted the Taste of Pasadena. SIP-tember and the Taste of Pasadena are Pasadena Restaurant Week events presented by the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and our restaurant and lounge members.

Pasadena Restaurant Week events are organized by the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce with our restaurant members.