Posts Tagged ‘Cocktail World Cup’

BRINGING YOUR “A” GAME

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

Preparedness and Good Spirit Add Up to Cocktail Competition Victory
By Naren Young

All photos courtesy of 42 Below Vodka

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Cocktail competitions, for many contestants, can be a nerve wracking, knee trembling and downright frightening experience that can make or ruin your reputation in a heartbeat. There is a serious amount of dedication that is required to be the victor; it’s not simply a matter of turning up on the day and making a drink for a judging panel that could consist of a bikini model, a news anchor, an over the hill bar keep, a drunk bar owner or the President of the International Bartender’s Association.

Winning a cocktail competition in this day and age, when there is often one a week in many major ‘cocktail cities’ can take months of planning, research and practice. It requires tasting, refining, tasting again, writing a speech, practicing it over and over, a dress rehearsal, tasting again, asking your friends and colleagues for advice, buying new tools, buying back up tools, testing the tools and of course tasting the drink again. All this before you’ve even gone on stage.

In many ways, cocktail competitions are to be commended and encouraged. Sure, there’s a slew of boring and incompetently organized cocktail competitions over the years (thank God there was alcohol on those occasions), but for the most part they promote camaraderie (despite the obviously fierce competitive nature of them), allow like-minded professionals (sometimes from other parts of the world) to share ideas and discuss experiments; and solidify friendships over the course of several lubricating libations.

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Nowhere was this more evident than at the 42 Below Cocktail World Cup, held every year in New Zealand, the home of this award winning antipodean vodka. The event started in 2004 in Queenstown on that country’s South Island and even this year, the first few days were spent in this picturesque ski town, with competitors from all over the world partaking in a series of extreme activities that have not only made this competition so unique but has put it on the radar of any serious bartender around the world.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of this particular event is the fact that people compete in teams of three, representing their country and not themselves. Until recently, 42 bartenders were flown in (at great expense), making for 14 teams (this year that number was halved). Bartending, at its very core, can be very competitive and there is certainly no shortage of egos in our

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VODKA COCKTAILS AT THE READY

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

 42BELOW Presents the Cocktail World Cup National Finals

Sunday night 3/7 is going to be one of those evenings that, where no matter what city you live in, you might as well stay home and drink wine because your favorite bartender is going to be in NYC, competing at the 42Below Vodka Cocktail World Cup National Finals. www.42below.com

We’re not naming names (okay, we will eventually), but we are willing to say that if you’re invited to the Ace Hotel (www.acehotel.com) on Sunday night you might have a Lynn House, Thomas Waugh, Todd Thrasher, Philip Green, Paul Sevigny, Jason Brown, Matthew Coughlin, Sean Hoard (and more) sighting.

Who knows which ones the august panel of judges (Dale DeGroffwww.kingcocktail.com, Charles Ohlbaum www.bartendersacademyny.com , and Sam Talbot) will choose?  Time will tell. 

But here’s who’s in the running:

Matthew Biancaniello of Library Bar at The Roosevelt Hotel (www.hollywoodroosevelt.com) with the “Indian Summer” Cocktail

Jason Bran from The Roger Room with the “Down Under Dessert” Cocktail

Jason Brown of Sensing (www.sensingrestaurant.com) with the “Mr.Robinson”

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