Welcome to Imbibe Magazine's between-issues look at liquid culture with drink recipes, news and more. From coffee to cocktails, Imbibe celebrates your world in a glass.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Win a Trip to New Zealand for the World Cocktail Cup!

Attention bartenders! It's time for one of the greatest shows in cocktails, the 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup. For the seventh year, the 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 at 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 bartenders from each country will then be selected to represent their nation in the 2011 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup finals in New Zealand from March 21–26, 2011.

The deadline for U.S. entries is December 31. Of those entries, finalists will be chosen to compete in a series of regional competitions that will take place from January 16–25 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 finalists from each city will move on to compete at the national finals held in New York on February 13. From that group, three U.S. champions will be chosen to represent the United States in New Zealand where they will compete against five other teams for the world title.

This is one of the most fun and adventurous cocktail competitions out there, and an amazing opportunity to visit New Zealand and spend time with bartenders from all over the world. So get the creative ideas flowing, and for the official rules and to submit a recipe, visit cocktailworldcup.com. Remember, the deadline is December 31, so you have exactly two weeks to submit your winning recipe.

And for inspiration, check out the recipe from last year's World Cup winners, the US team represented by Mark Stoddard, Sean Hoard and Todd Thrasher.

I Have Too Much Time on My Hands at This Point in My Life
1 oz. 42BELOW vodka
½ oz. artichoke liqueur (such as Cynar)
1 ½ oz. lime thyme syrup
Liberal dash of apple bitters
Ice cubes
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: coupe
Garnish: apple thyme balls

In a mixing glass half filled with ice, add all ingredients, stir for 30 seconds, then fill with ice and stir for another 30 seconds. Strain into a coupe and garnish with the apple balls on a skewer.

Apple Thyme Syrup
2 cups water
1 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh thyme leaves
2 oz. fresh lime Juice

Bring water to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer stir in the sugar, and once dissolved, add lime juice and thyme. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 1 hour. Stain through a chinois and let cool.

Apple Bitters
1 750 ml. bottle 42Below Pure Vodka
1 750 ml. bottle calvados
1 granny smith apple
1 red delicious apple
1 gala apple
1 honey crisp apple
1 fuji apple
1 tsp. allspice berries, cracked
1 tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. coriander seed
1 tsp. gentian root
1 tsp. dandelion root
1 tsp. rhubarb root
1 tsp. szechuan peppercorns
1 vanilla bean (halved & cored)
2 cinnamon sticks
3 cloves
3 star anise
3 cardamom pods, cracked

Core and macerate the apples, and place in a large mason jar. Add vodka and calvados and stir for 60 seconds. Add spices, stir again and seal lid of jar. Shake vigorously for 30 secs, and keep out of sun at room temperature for 42 days. To speed up process, shake vigorously for 30 seconds every day for 21 days. Strain the bitters through cheesecloth or a fine chinois and bottle.