Archive for the ‘International’ Category

Patricia Richards is heading back to the Arctic Circle

Immediate release
Contact: David Page

Las Vegas, Nev. (Dec. 21, 2010) – A Las Vegas mixologist is heading to the Arctic Circle for a second time to compete against the world’s most elite bartenders in the 13th Annual International Finlandia Vodka Cup Finals to be held in the Lainio Snow Village SnowHotel in Finland on Feb. 2.

Patricia Richards, for the second year in a row, won the right to represent the U.S. during the Finlandia Qualifying round held in Las Vegas on Dec. 20. Last year, Richards placed fourth overall in the International Finlandia Vodka Cup, the best U.S. finish in the history of the competition.

“It is very exciting to be taking Ms. Richards back to Finland to compete in the Finals,” said Nick Nelson, U.S. brand manager for Finlandia Vodka. “Her top-five finish last year was the best the U.S. has ever done in the Finals, and we have high hopes she will win this year.”

To compete in the qualifier, U.S. bartenders had to submit drink recipes online to the United States Bartender’s Guild for an aperitif and long drink. The submissions were reviewed by a panel of judges that included members of the USBG, Finlandia Vodka and Tony Abou-Ganim, world-renowned mixologist and USBG National Ambassador, and narrowed to the top-ten competitors. The panel then re-created the drinks of the top competitors and scored each on the aroma, appearance and taste. Once the points from each separate drink category were tallied, Richards once again prevailed.

Richards will now compete against 33 bartenders from around the globe based on the art, style and craft of their original Finlandia cocktails and the final category of the contest, the “Quick Mix”, an Iron Chef-style category. In the “Quick Mix”, bartenders must create a recipe based on mystery ingredients within 10 minutes. This category tests the skills of even the best mixologist. To practice for the Quick Mix, Richards will attend a refresher training with Tony Abou-Ganim in Vegas in January.
“Patricia is a very talent mixologist who continually rises to the top,” said Abou-Ganim. “She demonstrated her abilities last year with her fourth place finish in the Finals. I am sure she will once again represent herself, the USBG, and all U.S. bartenders well in the Finals and hopefully will bring home the Cup to the U.S. this year.”

Besides a thrilling competition, Finlandia Vodka will once again host a special session of Finnishing School, a program taught to elevate the bartending vocation by providing an unbiased approach to mixology. Finlandia’s Global Ambassadors and the Soulshakers, representing three of the United Kingdom’s most respected and renowned drink consultants, will lead the session covering:
• An irreverent and illustrated history of vodka
• In-depth breakdown of the process of distillation, fermentation and filtration
• A blind tasting with tips to help identify ingredients used in making vodka
• The scientific approach to bartending
• Instruction on taste and balance
• And lastly, real concepts that influence every drink

Moreover, each competitor will have the opportunity to enjoy uniquely Finnish experiences such as dog and reindeer sledding. And, of course, participants will enjoy local foods like reindeer and fresh smoked salmon served with specialty Finlandia cocktails.
Good luck to Patricia Richards in the 13th International Finlandia® Vodka Cup Finals!


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13th Annual International Finlandia Vodka Cup qualifier announced
USBG searching for the best U.S. bartender

Las Vegas, Nev. (Nov. 16, 2010) – Calling all bartenders and mixologists…Shake up your career!
The United States Bartenders’ Guild is proud to invite you to participate in the United States Finlandia Vodka Cup qualifying round.
It’s a chance for your talent to shine. The winner will earn an opportunity to compete in the 13th Annual International Finlandia Vodka Cup, January 31- February 3, 2011, in the Arctic Circle of Finland, where undoubtedly the coolest competition on earth will take place.

To compete, you must submit two original drink recipes: a Finlandia Aperitif and a Finlandia Long Drink at usbg.org. The drinks will be judged on December 20 and the winner announced on December 21.

The winner of the U.S. qualifier will attend a special training session on January 13, 2011, in Las Vegas with master mixologist and USBG National Ambassador, Tony Abou-Ganim, to practice the final category that will take place in the International Finals in Finland, the “Quick Mix”.

The “Quick Mix” is an Iron Chef-style category in the Finals where the bartenders are provided with a mystery box that contains all the necessary ingredients to make a cocktail. They select four ingredients from the box and have 10 minutes to create a recipe. This category will test the skills of even the best mixologist.

To learn more about the Finlandia Vodka Cup, please visit usbg.org. Recipes must be submitted no later than December 10 by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time.

Note: Open to residents of the U.S. who are of legal drinking age and who are professional bartenders. Void in California, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia and where prohibited or restricted by law.

Media Inquiries on the Finlandia Vodka Cup competition, please contact David Page at 502-774-7701 or david_page@b-f.com.

About Finlandia:
Finlandia Vodka is a product with a global reputation for its unique Nordic heritage and its crystalline natural spring water, a legacy of the Ice Age. Finlandia’s unparalleled quality can be attributed to only the finest ingredients. Our vodka is crafted by using pure glacial spring water and six-row barley, which offers the highest quality starch and the lowest possible content of natural oils, delivering a crisp, clean taste. Finlandia Vodka Worldwide Ltd (FVW) is a joint venture partnership owned 100 percent by Brown-Forman Corporation. FVW is responsible for the Finlandia trademark and marketing and distribution assets. Brown- Forman handles all global marketing activities for the Finlandia Vodka brand.

About Brown Forman
Brown-Forman Corporation is a producer and marketer of fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Finlandia, Canadian Mist, Fetzer, Korbel, Gentleman Jack, el Jimador, Tequila Herradura, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, Tuaca, Woodford Reserve, and Bonterra. We globally market and sell various categories of beverage alcohol products, such as Tennessee, Canadian, and Kentucky whiskies; Kentucky bourbons; California sparkling wine; tequila; table wine; liqueurs; vodka; rum; and ready-to-drink products. For more information about Brown-Forman and our brands, please visit our website at brown-forman.com.

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From more than two thousand bartenders around the world, tonight the Team USA trio of Mark Stoddard, Todd Thrasher and Sean Hoard emerged as the clear winners in the sixth 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup. 

The grand final event in Wellington capped off five days of intense competition, with 24 bartenders from seven countries competing in a series of challenges in Queenstown and Wellington. Team USA were crowned the best bartenders in the world, with their wordy cocktail titled ‘I have too much thyme on my hands right now at this point in my life’. Made with 42BELOW Pure, apple bitters, lime thyme syrup and an artichoke aperitif the team were backed on stage by Run DMC before shedding their black tracksuits and donning cocktail aprons to make a truly classy drink.

Team USA won the ’21st Century Punch challenge’ early in the competition, and were strong contenders throughout, “The drink was sorted from day one but the presentation came together in the last minute on the plane, it was phenomenal,” says Todd Thrasher. US bartender of the year and judge Jim Meehan commended the team for being both confident and humble, “their level of performance and presentation was amazing” Meehan said.

Coming a close second was Team France with ‘Le Rendez-Vous’ which they served alongside a dessert also created on stage. “France was a surprise, they had been lagging before tonight” said 42BELOW global vodka professor, Jacob Briars.

In third place was home favourites; Team New Zealand with ’42 Cuba St’. The team of Josh Crawford, Calem Chadwick and James Goggin displayed a never before seen technique of ‘flazing’ – using dry ice to aerate the drink instead of flames. Their cocktail contained 42BELOW Manuka Honey, chocolate and decanter bitters and a spray of gunpowder and over-proof rums. Founder and editor of “Class’ magazine Simon Difford said the NZ drink was classy, and his favourite tasting drink of the night.

The Irish kicked off the kick ass competition wearing their trademark emerald green velour tracksuits and using their national tipple to create ‘Wilde Honey Porter’.

Team London had some of the most ‘turbulent’ CWC experiences (contact Queenstown police for more information) but made consistently good cocktails. They said it had been the experience of their lives “being woken up at 7am to do crazy things and then having cocktail competitions in the most beautiful settings in the world was truly awesome,” says team member Danny Winter.

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IN 2010 42BELOW COCKTAIL WORLD CUP in Queenstown Zew Zealand!

Occasionally you might like a drink that doesn’t have 42BELOW in it (although, quite frankly, we can’t imagine why). It’s a bit tricky trying to take a drink taste good without the world’s most awarded vodka * in it, which is why we set that as the first challenge in the 2010 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup.
Twenty four bartenders representing seven countries prepared their ‘Modern Mocktail’ creations on the banks of Queenstown’s spectacular Shotover River from ingredients they were provided with. They had just seven minutes to design and name their drink, before taking it on the Shotover Jet to mix, pour and present it. Team Australia emerged the clear winners with their ‘Peach, Plum, Rock n Pop’ drink. Led by Australia’s ‘bartender of the year’ Chris Hysted, the drink included a plum, peach, cinnamon, crushed pomegranate and apple juice. Judge Justin McKenzie impressed with the ‘balance, presentation and consistency of their drink under difficult circumstances.”
In between having fun and making great drinks, we at 42BELOW like to help further the education of our participants with a series of cocktail ‘summits’. Founder of the UK’s influential ‘Class’ magazine and our judge, Simon Difford launched the series with his talk
on ‘What Makes a Great Bar Great’. Difford shared some of his top (if slightly questionable) tips of the trade, “every bar should have a signature cocktail with a secret element, whether it be a dash of Sazerac or distilled camel spunk.”
The competitions’ second major challenge had teams putting their own unique twist on a classic, popular drink- punch. The ’21st Century Punch’ challenge is one of the weeks’ most fiercely contested. Team New Zealand had spent weeks preparing their ‘Nuku Ora’ entry, the title meaning ‘spiritual essence from the land’. Made and served in vessels made of New Zealand native timber ‘Pohutukawa’ the drink included 42BELOW Passionfruit, spiced manuka honey Pohutukawa and smoked apple bitters. But the US trio of Todd Thrasher, Sean Hoard and Mark Stoddard were just too good- their creation ’42 and Cloudy’ used ‘interesting techniques and ingredients and was well balanced” according to judge Jason Chan. The punch was served in hollowed out passionfruit and used New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, champagne and 42BELOW Manuka Honey and Passionfruit and topped with a passionfruit flavoured foam.
After a day of fierce competition, the teams are now being treated like the rock stars they all secretly dream of being in a spectacular ‘Love, Drinks and Rock N Roll baby’ party on the edge of Lake Wakatipu. Tomorrow the convoy has a day of mystery activities in store for them, certain to test their mixology skills and their mettle.

You can enjoy the action. http://www.twitter.com/42belowcwc/ will have most up-to-the-minute news possible. Video will go live on our YouTube channel as soon as it’s available – http://www.youtube.com/user/42belowvodka. The best photos and videos will go online as they’re available on the 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup 2010 site (http://www.cocktailworldcup.com). You can always follow the action on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/.

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Armando Rosario, Las Vegas NV

Armando Rosario, Las Vegas NV

Tres Generaciones Tequila & the San Francisco Chapter of the USBG hosted this year’s USBG National Cocktail Competition!

Congratulations to our San Francisco Chapter for hosting such an exciting event and a huge THANK YOU to Tres Generaciones Tequila who was a very gracious sponsor! The National Competition was held in San Francisco this year during San Francisco Cocktail Week. The May 12th event was a huge success and all in attendance had a great time! There was plenty to do in the city that week and many members came in early and stayed through the week to take advantage of the food & beverage scene.

As for the competition itself we had a great turn out, about 200 people came out to the famous Starlight Room atop the beautiful Sir Francis Drake Hotel. Tony Abou-Ganim a USBG National Ambassador and long time member was a fantastic host and judge. Livio Lauro our National USBG President was on the technical bench and Bobby G Gleason, USBG National Ambassador and Beam Global’s Mixologist was an entertaining emcee and did a fantastic job representing his Tres Generaciones brand!

The San Francisco local competition was early in the day and they had a fantastic group of talent come out to compete.   Below were the San Francisco local standings after 21 competitors took the bench.

San Francisco FIRST PLACE – Mr. Ronaldo Colli, from Americano Bar with his drink Kama Sutra

San Francisco SECOND PLACE – Mr. Jimmy Patrick, from Lion and Compass with his drink Rita Milano

San Francisco THIRD PLACE– Mr. Marc Goldfine, from 83 Proof with his drink The Starry Night

San Francisco Best Technical Performance – Mr. Ronaldo Colli, from Bar Americano

We reset the stage and in the evening began the national heat. We had 9 competitors from all over the country (see below list)  representing their chapters. It was an impressive first for the USBG to have such a large and talented group of competitors having grown so much since last year’s annual competition. Though we have grown so much in size since last year, we are extremely proud to say that this year’s competition proved we are still very much all about QUALITY not just quantity when it come to our membership!

The competitors were assigned the order in which they would compete and began to prepare in the prep station. The 4 tasting judges were set up in a blind tasting room, the technical judge, Livio Lauro had his stop watch and clipboard in hand and we were on our way!

Here are the results of the 2009 USBG National Cocktail Competition…

National FIRST PLACE– Mr. Armando Rosario, LasVegas, NV with his drink The Real Dill

National SECOND PLACE – Mr. Daniel Love (aka DJ Love), Chicago, IL with his drink Aztec Gold

National THIRD PLACE – Mr. Ricky Gomez, New Orleans, LA with his drink The Red Pepper Daisy

National FOURTH PLACE– Mr. Ronaldo Colli, San Francisco, CA with his drink Kama Sutra

National FIFTH PLACE – Mr. Bill Norris, Austin, TX with his drink The Palabra Ultima

National SIXTH PLACE– Mr. Jonathan Pogash, New York, NY with his drink The Pulitzer

National SEVENTH PLACE– Mr. Edwin Cruz, Los Angeles, CA with his drink La Venganza

National EIGHTH PLACE – Mr. Mark Stoddard, Denver, CO with his drink Sandia Smash

National NINETH PLACE – Mr. Matt McCullough, Phoenix, AZ with his drink Southern Paloma

National Best Technical Performance – Mr. Ronaldo Colli, San Francisco, CA

Congratulations to Armando Rosario of the Nevada Chapter for placing FIRST! Armando will be attending the IBA’s 35th Annual, World Cocktail Competition in Berlin, Germany to represent the United States Bartenders’ Guild. The competition is August 11th. His drink, The Real Dill (see recipe below) was a crowd and judge pleaser. We wish Armando safe travels and much luck in Berlin!

The REAL  DILL, created by Armando Rosario
1 oz Tres Generaciones Plata Tequila
1 oz Vox Vodka
1 oz Fresh lime juice
¾ oz Agave nectar
2 slices of English cucumber
Sprig of dill.
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass
Garnished with a sprig of dill and cucumber slices

About Tres Generaciones, Tres Generaciones or Three Generations is named after Don Cenobio, Don Eladio and Don Francisco Javier Sauza, the three legendary tequila pioneers of the Sauza family who helped define the tequila industry and grow Sauza® into one of today’s leading tequilas. The Tres Generaciones Society honors and celebrates today’s high achievers and influencersby bringing them together to share their knowledge and wisdom with the next generation. More information on Tres Generaciones can be found at www.tresgeneraciones.com.

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Results are in from the 57th IBA meeting in Puerto Rico!

It was the 34th year for the Classic Championship and the 9th year for the Flair Championship.
With over 50 countries in attendance and over 400 people present it was amazing and inspiring to be part of such a grand event. Gala Dinners, Beach Parties and tours of Old San Juan filled or days when we were not watching the world’s finest bartenders and flair tenders creating their magic at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan.
So many ingredients needed for such a grand competition including exotic and seasonal fruits and specialty juices. It would have been amazing had everything been available for the competitors, but alas there were boxes that did not make it through customs and some items just simply did not make it in time. Some countries had to start from scratch and others like our own Anthony Alba had to recreate an entirely new garnish for his cocktail. Through all the obstacles he managed to add lib and I must say his garnish was flawless in its creation and elegance.
Anthony Alba (our classic representative) and Ray Speight(our flair representative), both from Las Vegas did us proud. The competition was fierce and the judges were well positioned. Anthony was one of 16 finalists out of the 48 competitors.
The final results where then presented after the last heat…

Spain took Best Technical
Japan took 3rd
Luxembourg 2nd
Austria 1st place

FLAIR results
Sweden 3rd
Russia 2nd
Uruguay 1st
I am proud of our US representatives, they did an outstanding job, both are very dedicated and always professional. Anthony, Ray….Great Job.

David Nepove
USBG National Vice President

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