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2010 Closes With Awards, New Ambassadors and a Jerry Thomas Commemoration

January 5, 2011 By: Jack Robertiello


Don’t miss the opportunity to enter “Shake It Up! 2011 -Creative Cocktail Challenge” at this year’s Nightclub & Bar Show at the Convention Center, Las Vegas, March 8, 2011. Bartenders must email by midnight, Thursday, January 27, 2011 to KandiJohnson@southernwine.com
Winner gets $15,000. Other prizes - $6000, $2500, $1000 and $500, with a separate competition for best garnish. Rules and sponsor info available online at: http://www.ncbshow.com/shake-it-up-2011


Twelve finalists were announced in the 2010 Vinos de Jerez Cocktail Competition.
They are: Brendan Dorr, B&O American Brasserie, Baltimore; Reza Esmaili, Conduit Restaurant, SF; Brad Farran, Clover Club, Brooklyn; Mike Henderson, Colt & Gray, Denver; Dean Hurst, Sidebern’s, Tampa; Ted Kilgore, Taste by Niche, St. Louis; Lucas Paya, Bar Centro at the Bazaar, LA; Stephanie Schneider, Huckleberry Bar, Brooklyn; Kelley Slagle, Terroir, New York; Carlo Splendorini, Gitane Restaurant and Bar, SF; Owen Thomson, Café Atlántico, Washington, D.C., and Franky Marshall, Clover Club, Brooklyn.
Live finals will be held later this year at Clover Club in Brooklyn, NY, to determine the winner.


The January NCB bartender of the month is Branno Kent of FLUXX in San Diego.


The upcoming NCB show in Las Vegas will feature a Boutique Brands Pavilion, a special section showcasing small volume spirits brands under 30k cases. Check out products including RumChata, Travis Hasse’s Apple Pie Liqueur, Ed Hardy Vodka, Muchote Tequila, McClure’s Pickles, Sharkwater Tropical Liqueur, Hijinks Energy, Pandora Spirits, CMSC Spirits and more.


Pernod Ricard English Gins (that’s Beefeater and Plymouth to you civilians) gathered bartenders and other boozers in NYC December 14th to mark the 125th anniversary of Jerry Thomas’ passing. Cocktail historian Dave Wondrich, King Cocktail Dale DeGroff and others, with the help of Pernod brand man Simon Ford, made a stop at Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx to visit Thomas’ grave before a traditional beefsteak dinner and many, many libations.


Jameson has brought over four brand ambassadors from Ireland to educate and train bartenders, wait staff and distributors, among other duties. Look soon for Laura Hogan, Stephanie Joyce, Colin Mc Gough and Kevin Stanton at your place of business.


Seattle’s cocktail spot Vessel closed in late December, to reopen in spring/summer at a new location. “Our lease is up, and we're taking the opportunity to re-cast what we do best and deliver it to you in a new, exciting way. Vessel's modus operandi will be the same: inspire our customers' palates and fire their imaginations.”


Bridget Albert, spirits consultant, Southern Wine & Spirits, Ill., was one of three international spirit educators cited for special mention at the first Cognac Educator Program held in Cognac last December. Organised by the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac, this new program is designed to give in-depth knowledge of the complexities of Cognac to educators from around the world, including visits to Cognac houses, distillers and coopers, plus lectures on all aspects of Cognac, including AOC requirements, history, terroir, tasting, the international Cognac market today, etc. A written and oral exam took place at the end of the course.


Rob Fuentevilla (Painkiller), Tomas Delos Reyes (Standard Hotel) and Brian Matthys (Compose) won the New York leg of the US Legacy of the Cocktail Competition (the first two were held in Dallas and Chicago). Winners advance US finals in Miami in February. The final winner will represent the US in the global finals in Sitges, Spain in April. Judges included Dale DeGroff, Francesco Lafronconi, (Southern Wine & Spirits director of mixology) and Tony Abou-Ganim.


Master sommelier Fred Dexheimer of Juiceman Consulting created the cocktails and staff training for the newly-opened E11even in Toronto. Seasonal drinks include The Algonquin (Crown Royal, maple syrup, tangerine, cranberry) and the Fireside (white and aged rums, pumpkin, pineapple).


The 2010 Gourmand World Cook Book Awards released the winners of its UK national awards, and “Spirituous Journey: A History of Drink, Book Two,” by Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller won the award for Best Drink History. The book has also been sort-listed for the Best Drink History in the World award which will be announced in March at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.


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