42Below Vodka announces the 2011, 42Below Cocktail World Cup ‘Carnival of the Cocktail’ competition, March 14 – 19, 2011. Last year’s event treated bartenders like rock stars with a ‘Love, Drinks and Rock ‘n’ Roll, Baby’ theme. This year 42Below plans a big top experience of epic proportions where bartenders will compete in the greatest show stopping challenges of their bartending careers.
Teams of three are currently being chosen through regional competitions all over the world. Countries include the UK, US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Judges for the main event include Jacob Briars, David Wondrich and Salvatore Calabrese.
Get into the spirit of carnivals, the circus and the atmosphere of cocktails with the recipes below. The recipes have not been provided by 42Below, but it never hurts to pick up a bottle of 42Below Vodka and give it a whirl. Start with the Gipsy or a good old fashioned Vodka martini.
2 ounces Vodka
1 ounce Benedictine
Dash Angostura Bitters
Combine liquids in rocks glass with ice. Stir.
2 ounces Gin
1 ounce Apricot Brandy
1/2 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Lemon Twist Garnish
Combine liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend and chill. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Notation: Classic cocktail from Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh
Circus Peanut Margarita
3 ounces Tequila
2 ounces Pisang Ambon Liqueur*
1 ounce Sweetened Lime Juice
Sugared Rim – optional
Candy Peanut Garnish
Rim margarita or cocktail glass with sugar if desired. Chill glass. Place liquid ingredients in blender with ice. Blend until all ice is thoroughly crushed. Pour into prepared glass. Garnish with candy circus peanut.
*Pisang Ambon Liqueur is a Bols product manufactured in the Netherlands. It is bright green, flavored with banana and herbs. Crème de Banana or Banana liqueur may be substituted, but the cocktail taste will not be exactly the same nor will it turn out with the same blue-green color.
People pleasers, performers, stars of the show. Though mixologists seem to fit this description to the letter, their skill is far more reaching. The modern day bartender must create and fine tune cocktail recipes, be knowledgeable about wide ranging spirits and become a working member of a seamlessly well oiled team. These qualities and sprinklings of others have been a common thread of repetition to the 2010 42Below Cocktail World Cup competitors this week in New Zealand.
Jim Meehan spoke to this crowd of rock star bartenders and their entourage of support ‘groupies’ at a summit discussion Thursday morning. One point made was the importance of teamwork. This particular point couldn’t have been demonstrated more clearly than in the ‘Ready, Steady, Shake’ mystery ingredient challenge from the previous day.
The competition required teams to create a cocktail within a select amount of time from a secret box of ingredients. Under pressure to create something from nothing is no small task. Three bartenders with differing approach to cocktail creation throws yet another added demand into the process. Place them within a confined space behind a bar and ‘Ready, Steady, Shake’ could be the certain mix for disaster. Rather than all fingers in the mix, the notable factor became the teams who came to the table with plan in motion with teamwork in mind. Three members: all to brainstorm, one prepping, one mixing, one making garnish. It is this style of teamwork and forethought that begin the winning combination for not only these competitors and their teams, but for them to carry into the future for their bars.
Jim Meehan encouraged these ‘rock star’ bartenders to take to heart the point of the 42Below Cocktail World Cup 2010 competition – step out of one’s comfort zone and work as a team. Perhaps the jolt of body extremes such as bungee jumping to cure jet lag, Shotover Jet Mocktail competitions and a day of extreme sport activities as a team are the bigger lesson to get the brain moving in the right direction for creative thinking.