Last month, the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG), the leading organization of beverage service professionals, hosted the regional finals of the “Most Imaginative Bartender” competition, sponsored by BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin, featuring some of Vegas’s most promising mixology talent (Pictured: Juyoung Kang).
A series of challenging timed sessions and blind tastings was conducted by a panel of esteemed judges including Nectaly Mendoza, Owner of Herbs and Rye, Xania Woodman, Senior Editor for Vegas Seven Magazine, Rodger Gillespie, Property Mixologist for Lavo, Gary Hayward, Bombay Sapphire Brand Ambassador and Nathan Greene, Beverage Director Tuscany Suites and USBG Treasurer.
At the end of the evening, Juyoung Kang’s innovative “The Lacy Fizz”, made with spiced syrup and egg whites was recognized as the most creative cocktail in her hometown based on appearance, aroma, imagination and taste. Kang’s winning creation will now advance her to the USBG Most Imaginative Bartender Finals in Las Vegas to be held on September 8, 2014. She will share the stage with the country’s top mixologists for a chance at the title of “Nation’s Most Imaginative Bartender,” also resulting in a cover feature of GQ magazine’s “Men of the Year” December 2014 issue. If she takes the title in Las Vegas, Kang will then secure herself a coveted spot as the US representative in the 2015 Global Finals.
The Lacy Fizz Recipe
- 2 parts Bombay Sapphire Gin
- 1 part Citrus Juice
- 1 part Spiced Syrup
- 1/2 part Egg Whites
- 2 parts homemade milk punch soda
“It’s an absolute honor to have the opportunity to be nationally recognized in my field. To be able to compete alongside some of the most talented bartenders across the nation is something very few will have a chance to do, and I’m looking forward to seeing how far I can go against the best of the best,” said Kang. “There’s so much emerging talent in the bartending field around the country, and the USBG and BOMBAY SAPPHIRE are really doing a great service by bringing the craft of bartenders to the forefront. I’ve worked harder than you can imagine to get where I am and I’m ecstatic to have this opportunity. I’ll be bringing my A game!”
“It’s astounding to see how much the USBG Most Imaginative Bartender Competition has grown and evolved, and continues to expand globally after being established in the US for the past seven years,” said Ned Duggan, VP, Managing Director for BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin. The purpose of the USBG competition has always been to unearth new talent in the bartending field, and to help move the whole industry forward in the process. Their creativity, craftsmanship and passion have been inspiring. We’re excited to see what this year’s talent has to offer, and we wish Juyoung the best of luck in Las Vegas.”
For the first time this year, in appreciation of the public’s growing interest in mixology, each local event will also feature a Consumer Cocktail Hour. Guests will be exclusively invited by USBG and BOMBAY SAPPHIRE to attend, sample and vote for their favorite cocktail among the contending bartenders. Their final votes will then determine a separate People’s Choice Winner of the competition.
Now in its eighth year, the USBG Most Imaginative Bartender search has become an industry tradition. The USBG is thrilled to be able to continue spotlighting undiscovered talent across the world.