The Shake it Up! bartender competition held at the annual Nightclub and Bar Convention and Trade Show is among America’s largest mixology competitions, and it continues to grow and receive national attention. Taking it up a notch this year, NCB and its partner, Southern Wine and Spirits of America, have increased the prize money to $25,000 for 2011. Stay tuned for more details.
The fifth Bols Around the World competition has launched, and international bartenders are challenged to create a “heavenly mix” using Bols liqueurs. Entries will be judged in terms of flavor, looks, aroma, technique, ingredients, name, creativity and presentation, with international adaptability factored in. Drinks will need a minimum 20 ml of any Bols liqueur. (That’s 3/4 ounce, for Americans.) The judging panel will include four regional masters, with each responsible for selecting two finalists. Wayne Collins judges in Europe, Shinn Araki in Asia, Dylan Howarth for Africa, Australia and the Middle East and John Lermayer for North and South America. The final shake off will take place in Amsterdam next February. First round will conclude Oct. 31. Final prizes include 2500 Euros for the champion. (about $3175 as of today) Get details and upload your entry now at www.bolsaroundtheworld.com.
Another biggie: the Bartender of the Year competition from Domaine de Canton. To enter, submit a complete application online containing one original cocktail recipe with your name, date of birth, address, employer’s name, employment position and e-mail address. Applications must be submitted no later than midnight on Nov. 1. In creating the recipe, use Domaine de Canton “Ginger Extraordinaire” as the base or co-base of the cocktail. Each recipe also must include a detailed description of all ingredients, quantities and proportions, techniques used to prepare the cocktail, presentation and glassware. Finals will be held in St. Martin, with the top prize of $10,000. Find criteria, etc., at domainedecanton.com/bartender-of-the-year/.
Belvedere Vodka has begun a worldwide “Dream Job” campaign to find a person to become a $100,000 Global Brand Ambassador. The new ambassador will work alongside Claire Smith, Moet Hennessey’s head of spirit creation and mixology, and represent the brand globally, educating bartenders and creating cocktails. Beginning Sept. 15, bartenders, mixologists and vodka enthusiasts around the world can submit short videos to Belvedere Vodka’s Facebook page showcasing their mixology skills and demonstrating why they should be selected for the role. Entries close on Oct. 15, and a panel of experts will select a shortlist of U.K. and European semi-finalists to compete in a series of cocktail-making and presentation challenges at an event judged by a panel at a London bar. The top two semi-finalists will go through to the Global Final, which takes place in Los Angeles on December 15. Seven finalists from across the world will be presented with the final challenge and compete in front of a panel of celebrity judges to to determine the winner. Enter and find out all about the contest and job at www.facebook.com/BelvedereDreamJob.