As cocktail enters the fun sports arena, the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) brought together 24 of the most talented cocktail creators on Sunday, Feb. 27, to take center stage in a head-to-head cocktail competition.
The idea was to select three bartenders to represent the United States on the brightest stage in mixology: the 2011 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup ‘Carnival of the Cocktail’ to be held March 14 to 20 in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Meanwhile, as the top ten T.G.I. Friday’s bartenders prepare for the World Bartender Championship (WBC) Finals on March 14, 2011 in Dallas, Texas, bartenders and fans from across the globe are getting involved and supporting bartending’s bid to be recognized as an Olympic sport. (Read: When Bartenders Compete for Olympic Status)
When the USBG brought the shaking and stirring to a close, Michael Callahan of Azul, Jennifer Contraveos of The Spare Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and Nate Wales of La Condesa, emerged victorious.
Their next challenge: to put their cocktail prowess to the test against cocktail slingers from countries including Australia, France, Italy, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The prize – global cocktail dominance and glory and the title of “Cocktail World Cup Champion.”
“I’m really proud of all the competitors. Each of them embody the creativity and good natured irreverence of 42BELOW and it came through in the imaginative and tasty cocktails they crafted,” said Paul Franich, 42BELOW Brand Raconteur.
“I think it’s fair to say our judges picked the best three mixologists to represent the United States. I just hope they’re prepared for what’s to come in New Zealand.”
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A panel of three cocktail connoisseurs left it to their versed pallets to determine the top three cocktails in the United States: Jim Meehan, celebrated bar operator, consultant and writer; Kevin Sintumuang, spirits, travel and lifestyle writer for The Wall Street Journal; and Darryl Robinson, host of Drink Up on the Cooking Channel.
The judges selected the top three cocktails of the night, ultimately awarding their creators the opportunity of a lifetime – the chance to be crowned world’s best at the Cocktail World Cup in New Zealand.
Each bartender had six minutes to prepare, shake and pour their libations before handing them off to the judging panel for the final taste test.
Final judgment was based on a 100 point system using the criteria: performance, originality, taste, presentation and overall impression.
The USBG is a non-profit organization that has expanded to Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Dallas, Denver, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, St. Louis and continues to grow.
And 42BELOW Vodka was launched in 1998 in the premium vodka segment.