Ultimate Cocktail Challenge® 2012 Announces Winners for Classic and Signature Cocktail Challenges

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2012 Chairman’s Trophy Winners Announced For Best Gin, Vodka, Tequila, Rum and More in Contemporary Classic Cocktail Categories

Photo credit: Daniel Krieger

The judges for Ultimate Cocktail Challenge 2012

"We believe that UCC ratings provide consumers with the necessary information for the best spirit to use in simple cocktails that they can make at home,” says Paul Pacult.

Ultimate Beverage Challenge® (UBC), is proud to announce the results of the annual Ultimate Cocktail Challenge® (UCC) held at Astor Center in New York City, June 4 – 8, 2012. Ultimate Cocktail Challenge encompasses two distinct competitions – Classic Cocktail Challenge and Signature Cocktail Challenge.

Hundreds of cocktails were tasted and rated over the course of the week to determine which brands would be awarded the coveted Chairman’s Trophy for the top-performing spirits. Led by F. Paul Pacult (Judging Chairman and UBC founder) and Sean Ludford (Co-Judging Chairman), the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 panel of judges included mixology superstars Eric Alperin, Jacques Bezuidenhout, Tad Carducci, Curtis Cheney, Dale DeGroff, Don Lee, Lynnette Marrero, Jim Meehan, Steve Olson, Julie Reiner, Willy Shine and David Wondrich.

UBC’s Classic Cocktail Challenge assessed how spirits performed as the base of classic cocktails, naming for example the best gin to make a dry gin Martini, the finest tequila for a classic Margarita, etc. Entered brands were tasted in all cocktail recipes for their category. For instance, all gins were tasted in a Martini, Aviation and Negroni.

Many consumers have a favorite go-to classic cocktail that they shake up at home, but few have the time or resources to experiment with dozens of different brands to determine which is the best spirit for their favorite classic recipe. Ultimate Cocktail Challenge results, which are provided by the foremost cocktail authorities, give reliable recommendations for purchasing decisions.

“We believe that UCC ratings provide consumers with the necessary information for the best spirit to use in simple cocktails that they can make at home,” says Paul Pacult. “For our judges, Sean and I carefully selected some of the best cocktail palates in the industry who collectively have tasted tens of thousands of cocktails. We can’t imagine a better panel of judges to taste, rate and vote on the best spirit for a particular classic cocktail. Ultimate Cocktail Challenge is unique in this respect as there is no other competition that looks at spirits in cocktails in this way.”

Signature Cocktail Challenge assessed the quality of proprietary cocktail recipes entered by individual brands. This year more than 50 proprietary recipes were submitted, and five were awarded the Chairman’s Trophy, the highest Ultimate Cocktail Challenge honor.

Says Pacult, “The reason that classic cocktail recipes remain so popular is because they possess a ratio of ingredients that produces a harmonious taste. This year we were surprised that many of the Signature Cocktail entries did not show off their featured spirit to its best advantage or produce a great-tasting and balanced cocktail. And because UBC has strict but fair rating standards as well as a strong belief that awards should not be handed out to brands merely because they have entered, it was found that only five Signature Cocktail recipes produced a delicious and award-worthy cocktail. These five were awarded the Chairman’s Trophy.”

For the complete list of results for both Classic and Signature Challenges, including classic and signature cocktail recipes, go to http://www.ultimate-beverage.com/ucc2012results. For a selection of downloadable images go to http://www.ultimate-beverage.com/ucc2012download.

CHAIRMAN’S TROPHY WINNERS

  • CLASSIC COCKTAILS -

Spirits in Classic Challenge were judged on the 100-point rating system. The highest scoring spirit in each classic cocktail was awarded the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge Chairman’s Trophy.

BEST GIN in a…

  •     Aviation -- Broker's London Dry Gin
  •     Extra Dry Martini -- Broker's London Dry Gin
  •     Negroni -- Tanqueray London Dry Gin

BEST VODKA in a…

  •     Vodka Martini -- Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka

BEST TEQUILA in a…

  •     El Diablo -- Tres Agaves Reposado Tequila
  •     Fresa Verde -- Tres Agaves Anejo Tequila
  •     Margarita -- Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila

BEST LIGHT RUM in a…

  •     Daiquiri -- Banks 5 Island Rum
  •     Mai Tai -- Banks 5 Island Rum
  •     Mojito -- Banks 5 Island Rum

BEST DARK RUM in a…

  •     Aged Rum Sidecar -- Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum
  •     El Presidente -- Don Q Anejo Rum

BEST COGNAC/BRANDY in a…

  •     Brandy Crusta -- Remy Martin VSOP Cognac
  •     May Daisy -- Remy Martin 1738 Accord Royal Cognac
  •     Sidecar -- Remy Martin VSOP Cognac
  •     Vieux Carré -- D’USSÉ VSOP Cognac

BEST SCOTCH WHISKY in a…

  •     Blood & Sand -- Glen Garioch 12 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  •     Rob Roy -- Amrut Fusion Single Malt Indian Whisky
  •     Rusty Nail -- Auchentoshan Three Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky

BEST BOURBON in a…

  •     Manhattan    -- Russell's Reserve 10 Years Old Bourbon
  •     Old-Fashioned -- Russell's Reserve 10 Years Old Bourbon
  •     Whiskey Sour -- Russell's Reserve 10 Years Old Bourbon

BEST IRISH WHISKEY in a…

  •     Tipperary Cocktail -- Michael Collins 10 Years Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey

CHAIRMAN’S TROPHY WINNERS
– SIGNATURE COCKTAILS -

Cocktails in Signature Challenge were judged on the 100-point scale. In recognition of the individuality of each recipe, all Signature cocktails that scored 90 points and higher were awarded the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge Chairman’s Trophy. Below find the Chairman’s Trophy winners and the name of the Signature cocktail recipe:

  •     Aperol Aperitif - “Aperol Spritz”
  •     Cointreau Liqueur - “Cointreau-Sherry Cobbler”
  •     Mandarine Napoleon Citrus Liqueur - “The Napoleon Complex”
  •     Pernod Absinthe - “Pernod’s Garden”
  •     St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur - “The St-Germain Cocktail”

ABOUT ULTIMATE BEVERAGE CHALLENGE
Ultimate Beverage Challenge (UBC) was founded by F. Paul Pacult, Sue Woodley and David Talbot and provides expert evaluation of spirits, wines and cocktails for producers, importers and marketers through its three innovative annual competitions – Ultimate Spirits Challenge, Ultimate Wine Challenge and Ultimate Cocktail Challenge.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/UltimateBeverageChallenge
Ultimate Beverage Challenge inquiries: info(at)ultimate-beverage(dot)com or 1-347-878-6551.
Website: http://www.ultimate-beverage.com
Media inquiries: Manuela Savona, Savona Communications, manuela(at)savonacommunications(dot)com, 1-917-969-1275.

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Ultimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 judging panel, L to R: Willy Shine, Jacques Bezuidenhout and Jim Meehan.Ultimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 judging panel, L to R: Willy Shine, Jacques Bezuidenhout and Jim Meehan.Photo credit: Daniel KriegerUltimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 judging panel, L to R: Dale DeGroff, Julie Reiner, Tad CarducciUltimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 judging panel, L to R: Dale DeGroff, Julie Reiner, Tad CarducciPhoto credit: Daniel KriegerUltimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 judging panel, L to R: Don Lee, David Wondrich, Eric AlperinUltimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 judging panel, L to R: Don Lee, David Wondrich, Eric AlperinPhoto credit: Daniel KriegerUltimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 judging panel, L to R: Lynnette Marrero, Steve Olson, Curtis CheneyUltimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 judging panel, L to R: Lynnette Marrero, Steve Olson, Curtis CheneyPhoto credit: Daniel KriegerUltimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 back-of-house man Luis Guzman taking the rolling pin to ice to make fine crushed ice for the cocktails.Ultimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 back-of-house man Luis Guzman taking the rolling pin to ice to make fine crushed ice for the cocktails.Photo credit: Daniel KriegerThe fruit mise-en-place for Ultimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 cocktail recipes and garnishes.The fruit mise-en-place for Ultimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 cocktail recipes and garnishes.Photo credit: Daniel KriegerUltimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 judge Julie Reiner taking a sip of a cocktailUltimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 judge Julie Reiner taking a sip of a cocktailPhoto credit: Daniel KriegerUltimate Cocktail Challenge - LogoUltimate Cocktail Challenge - LogoUBC Founder and Judging Chairman F. Paul Pacult chatting with Judging Co-Chairman Sean LudfordUBC Founder and Judging Chairman F. Paul Pacult chatting with Judging Co-Chairman Sean LudfordPhoto credit: Daniel KriegerThe Ultimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 bartenders (L to R): Brent Lamberti, Eryn Reece, Katie Stipe, Dan NicolaescuThe Ultimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 bartenders (L to R): Brent Lamberti, Eryn Reece, Katie Stipe, Dan NicolaescuPhoto credit: Daniel KriegerThe Ultimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 exceptional back of house staff that kept everything flowing smoothly (L to R): Luis Guzman, Sean Kenyon, Stephen Fette, Leo DeGroff, Zac Overman, Henry TalbotThe Ultimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 exceptional back of house staff that kept everything flowing smoothly (L to R): Luis Guzman, Sean Kenyon, Stephen Fette, Leo DeGroff, Zac Overman, Henry TalbotPhoto credit: Daniel KriegerThe judges for Ultimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 – front row, L to R: Don Lee, Willy Shine, Jacques Bezuidenhout, Eric Alperin; middle row, L to R: Lynnette Marrero, David Wondrich, Tad Carducci, JulieThe judges for Ultimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 – front row, L to R: Don Lee, Willy Shine, Jacques Bezuidenhout, Eric Alperin; middle row, L to R: Lynnette Marrero, David Wondrich, Tad Carducci, JuliePhoto credit: Daniel KriegerUltimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 Announces ResultsUltimate Cocktail Challenge 2012 Announces Results