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Backyard Soda Co. Announces Winners of 2020 Cocktail Challenge


June 16, 2020
Kim Ruvolo
Backyard Soda Co.


Backyard Soda Co. Announces Winners of Cocktail Challenge

At-Home Competition Provides Nearly 700 Meals to the Colorado Family Meal Plan

[Denver, Colorado]: Denver-based Backyard Soda Co., an all-natural, small-batch, CBD soda and cocktail syrup company, today announced the winners of their Backyard Loves Bartenders Denver Cocktail Challenge.

The competition, which launched in April, was developed as a way to raise money for the Colorado Family Meal Fund in partnership with the Colorado Bartender Guild. The Colorado Family Meal Fund provides three meals twice weekly for bar and restaurant employees who were laid off as a result of COVID-19.

Backyard Soda Co. gifted bartenders their CBD sodas and syrups and challenged them to create unique recipes highlighting Backyard’s product. For every submission, Backyard Soda gave $5 to the Colorado Family Meal Fund along with 10 percent of sales during the competition. In total, Backyard Soda donated enough money to provide nearly 700 meals to industry professionals in need.

“When bars and restaurants were mandated to shut their doors, we knew we had to give back to the community that has embraced our craft syrups and sodas, “said Backyard Soda CEO Jonathan Schultz. “Plus, it provided bartenders with a creative release during a very difficult time while also paying it forward to the Colorado Family Meal Fund.”

Backyard Loves Bartenders winners were chosen based on creativity, flavor, use of Backyard Soda product, and ease of making at home. Winners received cash prizes.

“We had so many creative and beautiful entries it was hard to pick just one winner. After we narrowed down the finalists we actually waited until we could gather as a team to make the top ten cocktails and pick the final winners,” said Kim Ruvolo, Backyard Soda Chief Marketing Officer. “Our first place winner was unanimous based on her creativity, simplicity, taste and use of the Backyard Soda product; our flavors really come through in the After it All Spritz.”

“The Colorado Family Meal program was designed to bring our hospitality community together during such hard and unprecedented times. Working with Backyard Soda Co. to provide this competition was a key element in doing so – providing our peers the opportunity to thrive in their creativity offered a sense of normalcy while also giving each competitor a chance to give back by simply doing what they already love to do!,” said Amanda Villosio, Colorado Bartender Guild Secretary.

As a toast to the Colorado Family Meal Fund and Denver’s talented bartenders, Backyard Soda is pleased to share the top five winning recipes. A complete list of recipes can be found on Backyard Soda’s website at backyardsoda.com/recipes.

After it All Spritz

First Place: After it all spritz by elyse kimmel

Bartender at Halcyon and The L (coming soon to South Broadway)
2 oz Backyard Soda Lavender-Lemon CBD Soda
0.5 oz Backyard Soda Lavender-Lemon CBD Syrup
2 oz Raspberry Aperol (Blend 250ml Aperol with 4oz fresh raspberries. Fine strain.)
0.25 oz fresh lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters
2 oz soda water
Fresh lavender, orange and raspberries as garnish

Combine Aperol, Backyard Soda Lavender-Lemon CBD Syrup, juice and bitters in tin. Shake. Strain into wine glass filled with ice and soda water. Top with Backyard Soda Lavender-Lemon CBD Soda. Garnish with fresh lavender, half orange wheel and three raspberries on pick.

Sundown Shakeup

Second Place: Sundown shakeup by Amanda Taylor

0.75 oz Backyard Soda Lavender-Lemon CBD Syrup
2 oz Chopin potato vodka
.5 oz lemon juice
~ 2 oz soda water
2 slices of cucumber

Muddle two slices of cucumber. Shake with vodka, lemon juice, and Backyard Soda Lavender-Lemon CBD Syrup. Pour over crushed ice and top with soda water.

Easy Street Fix 

Third place: easy street fix by chris burmeister

Bartender at Citizen Rail
1.5 oz Espolon Reposado
0.5 oz Noilly Prat Extra Dry Vermouth
0.5 oz Backyard Soda Mango Jalapeño CBD Syrup
0.5 oz lime juice
1 strawberry
2 dashes Peychauds Bitters
Pinch of sea salt
Jalapeño slice for garnish

Combine all ingredients in shaker tin. Muddle strawberry and shake with ice till properly diluted. Double strain up into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a jalapeño slice.


Fourth Place: tarragonzo by jezz govert

Bartender at Tupelo Honey
2 oz rye whiskey
0.5 oz Backyard Soda Pomegranate Orange Blossom CBD Syrup
2 dashes spiced cherry bitters
Muddled Tarragon
Big ice cube
Lemon peel for garnish

Combine all ingredients and add ice cube and lemon garnish

Chill Sesh 

honorable mention: chill sesh by ryan williams

Bartender at Poka Lola Social Club
1 oz Backyard Soda Mango-Jalepeño CBD Syrup
1.5 oz fresh grapefruit juice
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
3 drops 20 percent saline solution (8 parts boiling water, 2 parts salt by mass; let cool)
1 hulled strawberry
3 slices english cucumber
1 grapefruit peel (reserved for shake)
3.5 oz soda water

Muddle strawberry and cucumber in bottom of mixing tin and add all other ingredients except for soda water. Add 10 pieces of ice and regal shake with grapefruit peel for 10 seconds. Double strain into collins glass with fresh ice, top with soda water and stir to incorporate. Garnish with cucumber and strawberry.


About backyard soda co.

Denver-based Backyard Soda Co. provides consumers with all-natural, small-batch CBD sodas and syrups. Backyard Sodas produces simple, but sophisticated flavors such as Lavender Lemon, Mango Jalapeno, and Ginger Lime. Their selection of simple syrups, and CBD-infused simple syrups, and CBD sodas make it easy to create cocktails, mocktails, and culinary creations. Backyard Sodas believes that you can have good times and good tomorrows. Real ingredients and real connections. More fun and less drama. And you will, when you step into their backyard.


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