Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Last month I took a trip along with Aaron Gregory Smith, Livio Lauro and John Burton to Long Beach to honor some USBG members for their lifelong commitment to the USBG. We honored them for keeping the guild alive and honoring the craft for so many years.

The honorees were:
Jose F. Ancona, Our North America IBA Vice President
Fred Ireton, Long Time Member
Cesar Sandoval, Long Time Member
Vincent Cisneros, Long Time Member
Kelly Lightner, Long Time Member
Fructuso Prado, Long Time Member
William Cresswell, Long Time Member
Philo Miller, Long Time Member
Noreen Wood, Long Time Supporter and Honary Member
Naomi Filbern, Long Time Member
Arturo Pienado, Long Time Member
Philo Miller, Long Time Member
Marcel La Roque, Long Time Member

We had a wonderful cocktail party in their honor.

And now, without further ado….It gives me great pleasure to add to the above list and to present on behalf of the United States Bartenders’ Guild, “The Lifetime Membership Award”. For those outstanding supporters of our organization, always elevating the bar industry and for their years of service they have dedicated to refine our craft…

Please join me in congratulating our newest Lifetime Members to the USBG:

Dale Degroff, None other than King Cocktail himself
Brian Rea, The Bar Keeper
Tony Abou-Ganim, Our very own Modern Mixologist
John C. Burton, The Northern California King
Livio Lauro, Our former National President the man who set the standard
Bobby “G” Gleason, the Ambassador who never rests

Thank you all for your dedication and for helping the USBG become what it is today, a benchmark for what bartenders aspire to become.

David Nepove
USBG National President


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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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Today Marks Kick-off of U.S. Entries for 2011 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup

CORAL GABLES, Fla., Nov. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Ladies and gentlemen, step right up and prepare yourself for the greatest show in cocktails, the 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup ‘Carnival of the Cocktail’. For the seventh year running, United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) invites the world’s most ingenious and audacious talents in mixology to showcase their skills, represent their country and square off against their peers on the cocktail world’s brightest stage, the 2011 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup in New Zealand.

Six countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, France and Italy will hold contests at regional and national levels in which bartenders will compete to create the most innovative cocktail as judged by leaders in the cocktail industry. The top three (3) bartenders from each country will be selected to represent their nation in the 2011 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup finals in New Zealand March 21 to 26, 2011.

The U.S. portion of the competition began today. From now through Dec. 31 the USBG will recruit the top bartenders in the United States to enter their most creative and inventive cocktails into this illustrious competition. The winning cocktail entries will join the cocktail caravan and compete in head-to-head regional final events.

Regional finals will take place Jan. 16 to 25 in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C. The top two (2) finalists from each market will move on to compete at the national finals held in New York on Feb 13. From that group, three (3) U.S. champions will be chosen to represent the United States in New Zealand where they will compete for global cocktail dominance and glory.

Once in New Zealand, the six national teams will head to adventure playground, Queenstown, before making their way to Wellington to compete in the big dance. When the bartenders aren’t testing the limits of the human body and mixology by muddling limes in jet boats screaming through narrow canyons, or shaking while plummeting down a gorge on a bungee, they’ll be chumming it up with the ringmasters of the wonderful world of cocktails. Want to run away and join the circus? See the official 2011 Cocktail World Cup trailer here .

“The 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup is an amazing way to celebrate the superstars of the trade. The seventh time around it will be more extreme and exciting than ever before,” says 42BELOW Marketing Director Dion Nash.

For more information, please visit the 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup website at cocktailworldcup.com or contact Josh Rangel at jrangel@golinharris.com.

Bartender Entry Criteria:
• Be over the legal drinking age in the United States
• Speak and understand a reasonable level of English
• Must not have previously participated in the 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup in New Zealand
• Must have bartending experience
• Must create an original signature cocktail preferably using 42BELOW Vodka or 42BELOW Flavored Vodka (Contestants must submit entries to cocktailworldcup.com by Dec. 31, 2010)

About 42BELOW

42BELOW Vodka was launched in 1998 in the premium vodka segment and has shown strong volume growth since its inception. The brand known for its innovative, bold and entrepreneurial style has earned a strong reputation for authentic New Zealand quality and exceptional taste, reflected in winning numerous prestigious international awards including gold medals (for the fourth year running) at the 45th World Selection of Spirits and Liqueurs 2007 Barcelona, the San Francisco Spirits Awards and the International Wines & Spirits competition UK. 42BELOW vodka, acquired by Bacardi Ltd. In 2006, is currently distributed in more than 25 countries.

42BELOW® Vodka and Flavored Vodkas



Media Contacts:
Josh Rangel, GolinHarris

Liz Edwards, United States Bartenders’ Guild

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USBG.org Down for Updates

Please note that USBG.org is currently down for software updates and a switch to a new, more secure server.

Thank you for your patience!

Here is some quick info you may need while we are down.


To join the USBG please fill out the USBG- New Member Application 2010 and email it to our Membership Director at usbg.membership@hotmail.com.

Current members, please wait to renew your dues until our website is back up.

For general membership inquiries please call Sheila Rosario at (702) 407-6970

MA Testing
To inquire about taking a USBG Master Accreditation Exam please email us at usbg.membership@hotmail.com

USBG Health Insurance
Please visit our USBG Bartender Health Insurance Flyer 2010 for more information on our new health care options for our bartender members.

USBG National Office (800) 964-0052

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A Discounted Group Rate on Health Insurance for our USBG Bartender Members

The USBG is proud to announce that we now offer Health Insurance for our Bartender Members!

For many of our members health insurance may not be included in their individual employment benefits at work. Because the USBG is now in 18 cities and our reach expands from Hawaii to NY we are able to get a great group rate. Plans start as low as $77 per month.

We could not be more excited to announce this added benefit to our members. We have listed the various ways to learn more about our Bartender Benefits below.

Please see the attached USBG Bartender Health Insurance Flyer 2010 that gives an overview of the plans offered as well as some examples of pricing.

Please visit our USBG website for more information.

Or Call Homeland Member Services 866-348-7669

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Dear Active USBG Members:
Thank you for voting in this very important election. The following USBG members have been confirmed as your new USBG National Council and they will step into their newly elected positions immediately.

Please take a few moments to congratulate them when you see them next and don’t be afraid to offer up your suggestions and ideas. The future growth of the USBG looks as promising as ever with these professionals at the helm….

National President: DAVID NEPOVE (From the NoCA Chapter)

National Vice President: AARON GREGORY SMITH (From the NoCA Chapter)

National Secretary: BRIDGET ALBERT (From the Chicago Chapter)

National Treasurer: PAUL POSILLICO (From the Las Vegas Chapter)

Your new council will be in office for two years and will lead the way into the future of the USBG. Congratulations to David, Aaron, Bridget and Paul and thank you for your true dedication as long-time volunteers of our organization. We all look forward to your term and all it may bring.

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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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