A competition to concoct the spiciest cocktail (using ingredients from local Brooklyn tastemakers) was a hit Monday evening, even if some participants were left fanning their mouths–this reporter included.

Tim Kavarnos, founder of Salamander Sauce Company, teamed up with Laura Gaber of Brooklyn Beef Jerky and Sixpoint Brewing to treat locals to whatever libations participants could whip up at local restaurant “Backyard” in Park Slope.

The winning cocktail was “Salerida,” by Davina Thomasula of Williamsburg.

“Any chance I get to combine black pepper, strawberry and hot sauce, I’ll do so,” said Thomasula, a chef and author who works at forknplate.com.

Brooklyn is increasingly becoming known for its quirky, hand-crafted businesses, especially in the culinary realm. Kavarnos, of Sunset Park, founded his sauce company just last year with the help of a kickstarter campaign. Gaber, of Park Slope, worked as a para-legal for years before finally setting her sights on a dream of artisinal beef jerky.

“My father was an entrepreneur, and encouraged me to start my own business,” Gaber said. “I had been cooking it for a year, with friends loving the recipes, when I decided to take the leap.”

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