Empire State South beverage manager wins spot on Gary Regan’s list of 101 Best New Cocktails for 2015

BY BETH MCKIBBEN

The new year has started off right for Empire State South's beverage manager, Kellie Thorn. Thorn received news last Friday that she was awarded a coveted spot on legendary barman and cocktail writer Gary Regan's list of 101 Best New Cocktails of 2015 for the Two World Hero--a cognac-heavy riff on the classic Vieux Carre.  Regan, whose books include "The Joy of Mixology" and "The Book of Bourbon" and who was the voice behind the column "The Cocktailian" for The San Francisco Chronicle, compiles his yearly list from thousands of recipes submitted by bartenders from around the world.

When asked what prompted her to submit this particular cocktail for Regan’s consideration, Thorn said, "I saw a post Gaz put up lamenting how he had just tasted through a lot of cocktail submissions for 101 best new cocktails and none impressed him enough to make the cut. He essentially put the challenge out there for bartenders to submit their cocktails, so I thought I would see how one of the house favorites at Empire State South would fare.”

And fare well it did, landing a spot not only on this past year’s list, but in Regan’s forthcoming book featuring his picks for best cocktails in 2015. Thorn says she received a "very to the point" email stating she had been chosen. She is thrilled the Two World Hero (an Empire State South house classic) will represent the talent coming out of Atlanta’s cocktail scene on Regan’s list.

Look for the Two World Hero and other cognac-based cocktails from around Atlanta in an upcoming story on the AJC's Atlanta Restaurant Scene blog next week .