NEW YORK, Oct. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On October 14, Cointreau, the original French triple sec, and Gotham Magazine®, a division of Niche Media®, LLC, hosted a grand finale event to culminate their search across America for one talented mixologist to serve in the coveted role of Cointreau Ambassador of Libations at Cannes Film Festival 2013. Live auditions took place in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., where one winner from each city was selected to compete in New York City for the grand prize. Finalists included Boston's Leah Famularo (Burton's Grill), Chicago's Alex Renshaw (Sable Kitchen & Bar), Dallas' Jason Kosmas (Village Marquee Texas Grill & Bar), LA's Alex Goode (Mixology101), Miami's Nick Nistico (Soho Beach House), New York's Lubens Besse (Isola at Mondrian Soho), San Francisco's Joel Teitelbaum (Five Rings) and D.C.'s Winn Roberton (Bourbon Steak). After an evening mixing and entertaining, the title of Cointreau Ambassador of Libation was awarded to Lubens Besse, alongside his winning cocktail, Cointreau Cucumber Kombucha Cleanse.
"I'm thrilled to have been chosen to represent Cointreau and serve as an ambassador for one of the oldest and most well-respected spirits brands," said winner, Lubens Besse. "Cannes Film Festival is one of the most prestigious events of the year and it's an incredible honor to be able to serve guests the best in cocktails."
At the finale event, contestants were required to showcase their original Cointreau cocktail creations and ambassadorial abilities. Each bartender formally presented and served a cocktail creation to VIP attendees and esteemed judges and shared a compelling story about their featured drink. Based on their submissions, VIP guests and notable judges, including Cointreau Heritage Manager and sixth generation family member, Alfred Cointreau, Cointreau Corporate Mixologist, Kyle Ford, Cointreau Global Brand Ambassador, Dita Von Teese, and renowned artist and interior designer Kenny Davis, voted on their favorite libation and points were allotted for the final score contribution. In the next round of the finale, each bartender competed in an Iron Chef-style mix off in which they had 20 minutes to create an original cocktail recipe. To spice things up, all candidates were presented with a secret ingredient Kombucha just before the challenge started that was incorporated into the final product. At the end of the challenge, the judges evaluated each cocktail based on both the taste and creativity.
After sampling the cocktails, tallying points and taking the popular vote into consideration, the panel reached the unanimous decision that Lubens and his cocktail had won! Lubens will serve as Cointreau Ambassador of Libations at Cannes Film Festival in May 2013, host of glamorous Cannes events for one week during the festival, and judge of the 2013 Cointreau competitions. He will also be awarded with a half-page profile in Los Angeles Confidential, Boston Common, Capitol File, Michigan Avenue, Gotham and Ocean Drive magazines displaying their winning Cointreau drink creations.
"The Search for the Cointreau Ambassador of Libations has been a fantastic way to continue the brand's strong presence in the ever-changing world of mixology and showcase the talents of today's bartending stars," said Suzi Cesco, Vice President of Cointreau and Spirits at Remy Cointreau, USA. "We are excited to award Lubens for his creativity and originality in the competition and know that he will be an excellent ambassador for Cointreau at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival."
Below is Lubens's winning cocktail recipe.
Cointreau Cucumber Kombucha Cleanse
3 muddled cucumbers
1 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Kombucha
3/4 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
2 dashes angostura bitters
Shaken over ice and strained into a coupe glass. Garnish with a cucumber.
Created more than 160 years ago in Angers, France, Cointreau is one of the world's most famous crystal clear spirits. Cointreau's distinctive square‐shaped bottle, with rounded shoulders and warm amber color, is recognized worldwide, as well as its subtle taste – a perfect balance of bitter and sweet orange peels grown and meticulously selected for their quality. Cointreau is best known as being a key ingredient in the most popular cocktail in the US; the margarita. In 1948, socialite Margarita Sames combined Cointreau, Tequila and lime to create the original margarita. In addition, Cointreau is an essential ingredient in the Cosmopolitan and other top shelf cocktails, such as the Sidecar and Cointreaupolitan. Its versatility, defined by its capacity to combine the richness of its flavors and aroma, makes it a perfect choice neat or on the rocks.
Today, more than 15 million Cointreau bottles are sold worldwide and Cointreau remains the authentic choice of many top bartenders in the smartest and most fashionable bars. The average retail price for a 750mL (25.4 oz.) bottle of Cointreau is $36. Cointreau is distributed by Remy Cointreau, USA Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Remy Cointreau in France.
About Remy Cointreau USA, Inc.
Established in 1981, Remy Cointreau USA is a subsidiary of Remy Cointreau, SA, charged with importing and distributing an extensive portfolio of premium and ultra premium spirits and wines. Headquartered in New York City, Remy Cointreau USA imports and distributes products from the full range of the wine and spirits spectrum, including cognacs, brandies, liqueurs, scotches, rums, gins, champagnes and both still and sparkling wines. Exclusive brands include Remy Martin® Cognac, Cointreau ® Liqueur, The Macallan® Scotch Whisky, The Famous Grouse® Scotch Whiskey, Highland Park® Scotch Whiskey, Russian Standard Vodka, imperia Vodka, Damrak® Gin, Mount Gay® Rum, Champagne Piper-Heidsieck®, Champagne Charles Heidsieck®, Merryvale®, Masi® Agricola, Vietti®, Biondi Santi®, Laroche®, Piper Sonoma® and Bearboat® Wines.
About Niche Media
Niche Media is the country's premier regional lifestyle publishing company connecting the affluent reader with the most insightful and engaging content that celebrates and is inspired by our world-class communities. Niche Media's city-specific publications include: Art Basel Miami Beach, Aspen Peak, Boston Common, Capitol File, Gotham, Hamptons, Los Angeles Confidential, Michigan Avenue, Ocean Drive, Philadelphia Style, Vegas and Wynn. Niche Media is a subsidiary of Greenspun Media Group (GMG). GMG publications include: Las Vegas Magazine, Las Vegas Weekly, VEGAS INC and Vegas2Go.
©2012 Cointreau Corp., Cointreau® Liqueur, 40% Alc./Vol., Imported by Remy
Cointreau USA, Inc., New York, NY. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY.