HAMILTON, Bermuda, Sept. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the United States Bartenders' Guild (USBG) announced Chicago's Carley Gaskin as the North American Winner of the 12th Annual "Most Imaginative Bartender" Competition presented by BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin. The finale took place at the home of BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin in England where the top 16 finalists put their creative skills to the test and presented their most artfully crafted cocktails. After careful deliberation, Gaskin and her innovative recipe, "Geb's Reviver" made with INGREDIENTS was crowned the most imaginative. In addition to taking home the title and a cash award, Gaskin will also become GQ Magazine's official "Bartender in Residence," where she will collaborate on a series of cocktail videos, act as the in-house cocktail expert throughout the year, and partner with a chef from Bon App's "Hot Ten" list for America's Best New Restaurants in 2018 to create specialty cocktail pairings.
"Each year, USBG and BOMBAY SAPPHIRE provide a platform for emerging bartending talent across North America to showcase their inner-creativity. It's incredible to see how bartenders use BOMBAY SAPPHIRE as a canvas to transform cocktails into works of art. Versatility is at the heart of what makes BOMBAY SAPPHIRE a conduit for bartenders to unleash their creativity because of its balanced profile. Carley demonstrated an extraordinary level of artistry in this year's competition, and we are thrilled to celebrate her as the 12th annual winner of the USBG'S Most Imaginative Bartender competition. I look forward to seeing how she will stir creativity and inspire his/her peers to propel their creative capabilities to new heights," says Tom Spaven, North American Brand Director for BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin.
Over the last five months, the USBG'S Most Imaginative Bartender Competition traveled across 30 North American cities to identify the top 16 finalists – 14 from the U.S., two from Canada – with the most innovative cocktail creations. Gaskin joins an illustrious roster of former program winners who are raising the industry's artistic standards.
Prior to the England finale, the 16 finalists met for the first time at the annual trade festival, Tales of the Cocktail, where they completed the first finale challenge, "The On-Air" challenge, which tested the caliber of their presentation skills in front of a live camera and audience. As the competition made its way to England, the esteemed panel of judges, including BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Global Ambassador Raj Nagra, USBG Southwest Regional Vice President and Phoenix beverage consultant Kim Hassarud, and acclaimed Austin mixologist and winner of the 2015 USBG Most Imaginative Bartender Competition Justin Lavenue, witnessed each finalist's boundary-pushing craft in the three final challenges that tested their creativity and ingenuity:
Laverstoke Botanical Challenge: For the very first time in the competition's history, a challenge was held at the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE BREEAM-certified Laverstoke Mill Distillery in Hampshire, England, where finalists were assigned one of the 10 vapour-infused natural botanicals that make up BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin. Finalists were tasked with creating an avant-garde recipe that celebrated the botanical's country of origin and its unique flavor.
16 Final Presentations: The second challenge had each of the 16 finalists present an original BOMBAY SAPPHIRE cocktail, which illustrated the fusion between art and mixology. The judges then narrowed the competition down to the top six contestants who advanced to the final stage.
Guest Shift: The top six bartenders were tasked with designing a bespoke cocktail menu at a top London bar, having only one day to source local ingredients in order to batch and prepare three different gin-forward recipes.
As the competition came to a close, the finalists celebrated at a private gala dinner at The Gherkin, where Gaskin was announced the 2018 USBG Most Imaginative Bartender. Gaskin looked back at her journey stating, "Taking part in each stage of the competition over the past five months has been a lifechanging experience, and it's exciting to be recognized for my passion and craft among so many of my talented peers. The Most Imaginative Bartender Competition pushes us to produce our very best by putting an emphasis on cocktail artistry, and I'm honored to join a roster of awe-inspiring bartenders across the continent."
1.5 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
.75 oz pineapple lemon oleo
.5 oz lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Matcha powder
Topped with pineapple, carrot, Bombay Sapphire foam
Garnished with dehydrated rhubarb & carrot powder
About the USBG
The United States Bartenders' Guild is an organization of beverage service professionals dedicated to the continued refinement of our craft. Such refinement is achieved through advanced product education; original hand-crafted cocktail competitions; and aggressive involvement with other professionals in the beverage industry throughout the country and internationally. It is our intention, desire and main focus to become the most skilled, knowledgeable and professional group of bartenders in the industry. Above all, the United States Bartenders' Guild supports and promotes well-informed, responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages.
ABOUT BOMBAY SAPPHIRE
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® is the world's number one premium gin by volume and value. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is created with a unique combination of ten sustainably sourced botanicals from around the globe. The brand's signature distillation process known as vapour infusion is showcased at the BREEAM award-winning Laverstoke Mill Distillery in Hampshire, England. The vapour infusion process skillfully captures the natural flavors of the botanicals which results in the gin's fresh, bright taste. Awarded a double gold medal in the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is consistently recognized for crafting the finest quality gin. For more information, please explore www.bombaysapphire.com.
The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® brand is part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.
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