Ahead of its third convention/celebration of all things boozy — featuring picture seminars on everything from “Cognac: Brandy of the Gods” to “A Liquid History of the U.S. Wine Industry,” pop-up bars and a black-tie gala — Thirst Boston offered amateur bartenders the chance to show off their best work. 

Those who entered the competition to be named Boston’s Best Home Bartender were asked to invent their best Knob Creek rye concoctions for the chance to have their cocktail featured at the Thirst Boston gala. 

James Wallace of Brookline, 41, was crowned the winner for his drink “Till Death Do Us Part.” He’s an attorney by day but a budding home bartender in his spare time.

“Making cocktails and learning to make cocktails has been a real interest of mine for at least five years now – drinking them has been an interest for much longer,” he says.

Wallace was surprised and thrilled to hear that he’d been selected from the contest’s five semi-finalists.

“I was shocked,” he says. “One person brought a blowtorch and smoked some peppercorn – I thought I had no chance.”

Try his cocktail, a mix between a Brown Derby and a Boulevardier, at home or at Thirst Boston’s gala on May 20.

Till Death Do Us Part

2 oz Knob Creek Rye 
1 oz grapefruit juice 
.75 oz honey syrup (2:1 honey:water mix) 
.5 oz Campari 
.5 oz Carpano Antica
1 orange peel

Shake all ingredients (other than orange peel) with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.
Release the oils of the orange peel over the cocktail as a garnish.
Kindly discard the peel — otherwise, you're a savage, and this world has enough savagery already.