Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Laughing Admiral Takes Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender NYC Competition. Meanwhile, the People Like the Taste of Lavender in Their Gin Cocktail

The Laughing Admiral is the judge's favorite in the 2015 Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender NYC Competition. It is a gin-based cocktail that includes almond biz and hard cider. Photo courtesy of Bombay Sapphire Gin.

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine. – Rick (Humphrey Bogart) in "Casablanca"

AT this gin station, there are two choices: One with egg yoke and one with egg white. These tastebuds favor the egg white concoction, which also includes sparkling wine. It is subtly sweet, very light and one cannot detect the presence of egg white.

However, Jesse Vida’s (Parlor) delicious cocktail would not win the Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender NYC Competition, a showdown that went down last night at the upmarket restaurant and nightclub, Lavo New York.

Jesse Vida's entry in the Bombay Sapphire NYC competition includes sparkling wine and egg white and/or egg yoke. Photo by Yours Truly.

Based on appearance, aroma, imagination and taste – in the estimation of the judges – that honor is Greg Buda’s (The Dead Rabbit) for a mixture that includes Hard Cider, Mace Tincture and Almond Biz. The almond is one of 10 botanicals that gives Bombay Sapphire Gin its distinctive flavor. The name of the libation that beat out five others from New York City and Connecticut is The Laughing Admiral. (See video below).

The victory earns GB a spot in the United States Bartenders Guild's (USBG) Most Imaginative Bartender Cocktail Competition sponsored by Bombay Sapphire Gin and GQ Magazine on 2 Sept. in Las Vegas.

Like a great fool, I went ashore with them, and they gave me some cursed stuff they called gin – such blasphemy I never heard ... this was the unchristianest beastliest liquor I ever tasted… – Edward John Trelawny, “Adventures of a Younger Son”

The general public has a say in the Bombay Sapphire regional contests, casting votes during the Consumer Cocktail Hour for the People’s Choice Winner. In New York, the people tap Connecticut’s Dimitri Zahariadis (Shamrock/Vasi's/Spartan).

“You have to try it,” one fan of DZ’s purple potion recommends to all who have ears during the consumer tasting session. “It’s beautiful; you can smell the lavender!”

A good heavy book holds you down. It’s an anchor that keeps you from getting up and having another gin and tonic.” – Roy Blount, Jr.

The dirty half-dozen that competed in the Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender NYC Competition, from left, Bob Wagner (Seamstress), Connecticut’s Dimitri Zahariadis (Shamrock/Vasi's/Spartan), Brett Hughes (Madame Geneva), Greg Buda (The Dead Rabbit), Jesse Vida (Parlor), and Jaime Rios (Top of the Standard). Photo courtesy of Bombay Sapphire Gin.

Meanwhile, the maker of The Laughing Admiral (recipe below) is humble and laconic in his acceptance speech. “Awesome job, you guys ... I loved it. I am surprised by this. I look forward to representing New York in a couple of weeks.”

Greg Buda creates The Laughing Admiral. Photo courtesy of Bombay Sapphire Gin.

The Laughing Admiral
1.5 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
2 dashes mace tincture
0.25 oz. almond biz (2 orgeat: 1 noyau du poissy)
0.25 oz nardini acqua di cedro
0.5 oz cardamaro
Top with 2.5 oz. of Christian Drouin Hard Cider
Stir and strain.
Glassware: Flute
Garnish: Lemon oils

At the USBG Most Imaginative Bartender Cocktail Competition, GB will compete against 28 others, a number pared down from around 1500 in 37 U.S. markets. In addition to the title, the winner earns a cover spot on GQ’s “Men of the Year” December 2015 issue alongside his cocktail.

Jerry Rios with Kim Nastro and his Bombay Sapphire Gin creation, featuring jalapeno pepper and cherry tomato.Photo by Yours Truly.

Finally, the winner will represent North America in the World's Most Imaginative Bartender Global Competition at a date to be announced in 2016.

Gin is a confusing drink. It’s the only liquid that’s both wet and dry. – Jarod Kintz, “99 Cents For Some Nonsense”

Visit to learn more about United States Bartenders Guild's Most Imaginative Bartender Cocktail Competition; visit to learn more about Bombay Sapphire Gin.

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