Bartending Competition Results and Belvedere’s Dream Job
Brian Miller of New York is the U.S. winner of the first Appleton Estate Reserve Bartender Challenge. Miller, formerly of Death & Co., took on regional winners from Boston, Miami and San Francisco in three rounds in which contestants showcased their mixology skills and knowledge of Appleton Estate Reserve Rum at Macao Trading Co. in New York. As the winner, Miller will travel to Jamaica in October to represent the United States in the Appleton Estate Reserve Bartenders Challenge Global Showcase. Josh Harris from San Francisco’s The Hideout at Dalva placed second and Adam DelGiudice from The Florida Room in Miami took third place.
At the Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition in late August, Mark Church of Grunauer in Kansas City emerged victorious with his Refined Austrian Cocktail (Monopolowa Austrian Gin, Austrian brandy, aromatized Lillet Rouge with vanilla and cardamom, Edel Kirsch liqueur, homemade aromatic bitters), beating out 12 of the Kansas City area’s best bartenders. The largest competition of its kind in the Midwest pitted 12 finalists against each other in front of a panel of judges and a live audience to prepare cocktails and display their skill and knowledge of cocktails and spirits. Contenders were quizzed on advanced spirits knowledge and the development of their cocktails. Second prize went to Chris Conatser of Justus Drugstore in Smithville, Mo. Third place was TJ Vytlacil of Franco Restaurant in St. Louis, Mo. (Pictured above are (back row, from left): Co-Founder Ryan Maybee and 2010 Champion Mark Church (middle row, from left), 3rd Place TJ Vytlacil, Co-Founder Doug Frost and 2nd Place Chris Conatser and (front row) Audience Fan Favorite Anthony Beyer. Photo by Eric Bowers Photo.)
Worth repeating: 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. The finals will be held in St. Martin, with the top prize of $10,000. Find criteria, etc., here.
Also still open: Belvedere Vodka’s worldwide “Dream Job” campaign to find a person to become a $100,000 Global Brand Ambassador working alongside Claire Smith, Moet Hennessy’s head of spirit creation and mixology, and to represent the brand globally, educate bartenders and to create cocktails. Bartenders 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 UK 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 Dec. 15. Enter at www.facebook.com/belvederevodka.