The second annual Ultimate Cocktail Challenge, which featured two distinctive and revolutionary competitions – Classic Challenge and Signature Challenge – was held April 5-8 in NYC. Ultimate Beverage Challenge (UBC), a New York-based beverage competitions and events company, is breaking new ground with both Classic Challenge, which assesses how well spirits perform in classic cocktails and Signature Challenge, which evaluates how well entered spirits perform in the proprietary recipes supplied by the brands.
Led by F. Paul Pacult (Judging Chairman and UBC founder) and Sean Ludford (Assistant Judging Chairman) judges included world-renowned mixology superstars Jacques Bezuidenhout, Dale DeGroff, Jim Meehan, gaz regan, Julie Reiner, Steve Olson, Audrey Saunders, Marcos Tello, David Wondrich and more.
“It’s difficult to be a pioneer in the spirits competition world these days and certainly there are any number of bartender competitions that name best cocktails but no one in the industry other than UCC is looking at how brands perform in cocktails,” says UBC founder, F. Paul Pacult. “We saw this as a perfect way to help companies market their brands in a new and innovative manner and ultimately give consumers an excellent tool to help them navigate their retailer store shelves.”
CHAIRMAN’S TROPHY WINNERS
Spirits in Classic Challenge were judged on the 100-point system. The highest scoring spirit in each classic cocktail was awarded the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge Chairman's Trophy.
BEST GIN in a...
Aviation - Plymouth
Extra Dry Martini - Beefeater London Dry
Gin & Tonic - Beefeater 24
Negroni - No. 3 London Dry
BEST VODKA in a...
Bloody Mary - Vesica
Cosmopolitan - Absolut Citron
Vodka & Tonic - Luksusowa
BEST TEQUILA in a...
Margarita w/Cointreau - Olmeca Plata
Paloma - Izkali Reposado
Tequila Sunrise - 901 Silver
BEST RUM in a...
Daiquiri - Banks 5 Island
Mojito - Banks 5 Island
Mai Tai - Holey Dollar Silver Coin
BEST CACHAÇA in a...
Batida de Fresa - Leblon
Caipirinha - Leblon
Caipirinha de Uva - Leblon
BEST COGNAC/BRANDY in a...
Brandy Julep - Rémy Martin VSOP
Sidecar - Camus VS Elegance
Stinger - Camus VSOP Elegance
BEST SCOTCH WHISKY in a...
Blood & Sand - Highland Park 12 Years Old Single Malt
Rob Roy - Highland Park 12 Years Old Single Malt
Rusty Nail - The Macallan Fine Oak 10 Years Old Single Malt
BEST AMERICAN WHISKEY in a...
Manhattan - Bulleit Rye
Mint Julep - Bulleit Rye
Old-Fashioned - George Dickel #12
BEST IRISH WHISKEY in a...
Irish Coffee - Jameson Gold Blended
Wild Irish Rose - Michael Collins Blended
BEST ORANGE LIQUEUR in a...
Cosmopolitan - Cointreau
Margarita - Cointreau
Sidecar - Cointreau
CHAIRMAN’S TROPHY WINNERS
Spirits in Signature Challenge were judged on the 100-point scale. In recognition of the individuality of each recipe, all Signature cocktails that scored 90 points and higher were awarded the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge Chairman's Trophy.
Below, please find the Chairman's Trophy winners and the name of the provided Signature cocktail recipe:
Beefeater 24 – French 75
Beefeater London Dry – French 75
Hendrick’s – LA Luna
Don Julio Añejo – Don Julio Luxury Cider House
Familia Camerena Reposado – Camarena Santa Maria
Blackbeard Spiced – Black Bitter & Stirred
Gran Duque D’Alba – Spanish Sidecar
Samogon Unaged Grape Spirit – From Russia With Love
Glenfiddich 12 Years Old Single Malt – Blood and Sanguinello
Cointreau – Cointreau Cup
Pernod Absinthe – Green Beast
Noilly Prat Original – Le Flip, C’est Chic
Becherovka – Czech-Up
St-Germain – The St-Germain Cocktail
For a complete list of all results and scores please go to:www.ultimate-beverage.com/ucc2011results
“Leave it to Paul to come up with a truly new way to look at cocktails!” says Julie Reiner, UCC judge and proprietor of Flatiron Lounge, The Clover Club and Lani Kai. “I looked around the room at my fellow judges and thought, we are really doing something groundbreaking and important here with Ultimate Cocktail Challenge. Paul’s judging methodology and criteria make UCC the most credible competition I know. And I can speak for every one of the UCC judges when I say we are all in favor of better cocktails!"
“Because of UCC’s exacting methodology, preconceptions or assumptions about a spirit are really challenged,” says UCC bartender Sean Hoard. “Based on UCC results consumers can make better informed decisions when ordering in a bar or making a cocktail at home and brands can market their product as the winner of a truly level playing field.” UBC's third and final Challenge for 2011 is Ultimate Wine Challenge, May 2-6, 2011. Click here for more information.