Tales of the Cocktail® Announces Top 10 Finalists
2011 Official Cocktail Competition
Winner to be announced on March 31, 2011
NEW ORLEANS, LA—March 11, 2011 – Tales of the Cocktail® in partnership with Tasting Panel Magazine announces the 10 finalists for the 2011 Official Cocktail Competition.
In 2011, Tales of the Cocktail® Official Cocktail Competition, bartenders were invited to shake things up and create an original Ramos Gin Fizz cocktail using Henry Ramos’ formula as the template.
The Ramos Gin Fizz was invented 1888 by Henry C. Ramos, at the Imperial Cabinet Saloon in New Orleans. This is one of New Orleans’ most famous drinks. The secret of its flavor and texture is orange flower water and egg whites. When Huey P. Long was governor of Louisiana, he brought with him to New York’s Roosevelt Hotel the bartender from the New Orleans Roosevelt to train the NYC bartenders on how to make a proper Ramos Gin Fizz, just so he could have his beloved New Orleans gin fizzes whenever he was in New York. Yeah, sure, every man a king …
The first printed reference to a fizz is in the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas‘ Bartender’s Guide, which contains six fizz recipes. The Fizz became a widely popular in America between 1900 and the 1940s. Known as a hometown specialty of New Orleans, the Gin Fizz was so popular that bars would employ scrums of bartenders working in teams that would take turns shaking the fizzes. Demand for fizzes went international as evidenced by the inclusion of cocktail in the French cookbook L’Art Culinaire Francais published in 1950.
The judges for the Official Cocktail Competition were Lu Brow of Café Adelaide, Simon Difford of Diffords Guide, and Audrey Saunders aka “The Libation Goddess”.
“It was refreshing to see so many inspired variations of one of my favorite classics. The interesting thing to note is that while we have a plethora of artisanal syrups and other specialty ingredients available at our fingertips, that most of the top 10 finalists went the extra mile and still utilized a home-made ingredient. Ingredients aside, the prescribed measurements in many of the recipes themselves displayed a clear understanding of balance by the creator…and where there were veers from the norm, there were also intelligent compensations made. Ditto for technique.
After reading through the various inspirations and explanations, it was not only evident that many of the bartenders have a conscious awareness of which flavors pair optimally together, but that a number of them stepped out of the box with gutsy, intriguing combinations.
In all honesty, I’m almost relieved that I judged these recipes “blind”. After submitting my picks, I finally took a look at the participant list. This was a tough room with a lot of contenders, but the pleasant surprise was seeing all the fresh faces that came out on top. I’m really looking forward to meeting all of them, and getting to talk shop together.”
- Audrey Saunders aka “The Libation Goddess”
The 10 finalists are listed in alphabetical order below:
- Chad Amholt
- Cole Apodaca
- Cameron Bogue
- Kyle Ford
- Lynn House
- Brandon King
- Tommy Klus
- Eric Simpkins
- Jonathan Smolensky
- Alyssa Wilhite
The first place winner will receive $1,250 cash and the recipe will become the “Official Cocktail” of Tales of the Cocktail® 2011. The winning cocktail and its creator will be featured throughout the 2011 Tales of the Cocktail® event and in The Tasting Panel magazine.
The ten finalist’s recipes are online at www.TalesoftheCocktail.com. The winner will be announced on March 31, 2011.
About Tales of the Cocktail®
Tales of the Cocktail® is the world’s premier cocktail festival, bringing together the most respected minds in mixology for five days of cocktails, cuisine and culture. Held annually in New Orleans, this event has something for cocktail professionals and amateurs alike with a spirited schedule of seminars, dinners, competitions, parties and special events where brands showcase their latest products. Now in its ninth year, Tales of the Cocktail® returns with another round events all perfectly paired with some of the best cocktails ever made. Shake things up at Tales of the Cocktail® 2011, July 20-24.
About the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society
The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS) is a non-profit organization committed to preserving the unique culture of dining and drinking in New Orleans and the storied bars and restaurants that have contributed to the city’s world-wide culinary acclaim. This organization supports members of the hospitality industry through education and the production of events like Tales of the Cocktail®, and most recently,
Trails of the Cocktail, a scholarship program for emerging talent in the cocktail industry.
For information and email updates on what’s sure to be the most spirited event of summer, visit www.TalesoftheCocktail.com.