On June 19, Ricky Gomez, well known craft bartender at Riffle NW in Portland, Oregon, went head to head as one of 20 competitive bartenders designated the best of the U.S. by the United States Bartenders Guild and walked away with the grand prize.
After a long series of bar competitions staged around the country for several months, Gomez entered the final round as one of 20 contenders for the U.S. title. In a grueling competition consisting of four separate mixology rounds the 20 contenders were winnowed down until Ricky Gomez was declared the first ever Diageo United States Ambassador for the Global Bar Competition to be conducted in Brazil in July.
The judges who presided over the competition were cocktail dignitaries Jim Meehan, Tony Abou-Ganim, Julie Reiner, Steve Olsen, and David Nepove.
The winning series of cocktails is not known at this time, but the semi-finalist round that took Gomez to the finals was his gin-based drink, Oh Mai.
1 ounce Tanqueray No. TEN
3/8 ounce lemon juice
3/8 ounce apricot liqueur
1/8 ounce fresh ginger syrup
barspoon of anise liqueur
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Add orange zest for garnish.
Kudos to Gomez for this stunning achievement. Cocktail-savvy Portlanders can find him behind the stick at Riffle NW, the Pearl District’s newest restaurant.
Portland proved itself one of the most dynamic of cocktail towns in the country by sending another worthy competitor to the final rounds. Connor Mansager, bartender at The Bent Brick, was a semi-finalist for his creative cocktail, Border Town Handshake.
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain over a big cube in an old fashioned glass.
Garnish with an orange zest.