Two of the most imaginative bartenders in America came to Portland to celebrate their recognition and spread a bit of holiday…um…spirits.
Bombay Sapphire Gin holds an extensive multi-level competition each year to identify America’s most imaginative and creative bartenders. Each contender must first submit an original competitive cocktail at the local level; if successful, he or she qualifies to go to the next round. Successive rounds in Miami and eventually in Florence, Italy, determine the global winner of the annual competition.
You can read all about the details, complete with a photo spread, in the newly released issue of GQ magazine
Two of those finalists, Jake Bliven representing Portland and Nic Behrends representing Milwaukee, Wisconsin, along with 2012 Winner Nathan Gerdes, hosted a Bombay Sapphire trade soiree at Circa 33 to coincide with the release of the GQ issue.
It was a fun evening, with both bartenders featuring their winning cocktails and enjoying the accolades of the elbow-to-elbow crowd. Both bartenders graciously supplied the recipes for their award-winning cocktails.
Jake Bliven stepped up with his tangy, spicy, Asian-influenced Mekhong Mule, redolent with ginger.
2 ounces Bombay Sapphire
3/4 ounces lime juice
1/2 ounces Sapphire orgeat (homemade)
2 ounces Sapphire East botanical ginger beer (homemade)
Garnish: Thai basil sprig and lime wheel
Bliven suggests that if you’re making this cocktail at home you should avoid the meticulous labor involved in creating his homemade orgeat and ginger beer; he recommends using B.G. Reynolds Orgeat Syrup and a full-flavored ginger beer such as Cock ‘n’ Bull.
Nic offered his whimsical Jen and the Gin Peach, an enticing short sour featuring grapefruit and char-smoked peaches and rosemary (!).
Jen and the Gin Peach
1.5 ounce Bombay Sapphire Gin
.75 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
.5 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce roasted peach and rosemary syrup
.25 ounce reposado tequila
4 sage leaves
In a mixing glass combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Double strain into a chilled coupe rubbed with fresh sage. Garnish with one fresh sage leaf.
Both cocktails were imaginative, creative, and exciting to drink, and clearly designed to tantalize the senses. Make sure you have enough Bombay Sapphire Gin on hand when you’re e making these at home. They’re certain to be popular with your guests.