Ultimate Cocktail Challenge 2011 Announces Winners And Shakes Up The Spirits World

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Best Gin, Vodka, Tequila, Rum and More Named in Classic Cocktails and Best Signature Cocktails Announced

Judges - Ultimate Cocktail Challenge 2011. Photo credit: Daniel Krieger

No one in the spirits industry is looking at how brands PERFORM in cocktails the way Ultimate Cocktail Challenge does.

The second annual Ultimate Cocktail Challenge which featured two distinctive and revolutionary cocktail competitions announces the winning spirits. Ultimate Beverage Challenge, a New York-based beverage competitions and events company, is breaking new ground Classic Challenge, which assesses how well spirits perform in classic cocktails and Signature Challenge, which evaluates how well spirits perform in the proprietary recipes supplied by the brands.

Led by F. Paul Pacult (Judging Chairman and UBC founder) and Sean Ludford (Assistant Judging Chairman) judges included world-renowned mixology superstars Jacques Bezuidenhout, Dale DeGroff, Jim Meehan, gaz regan, Julie Reiner, Steve Olson, Audrey Saunders, Marcos Tello, David Wondrich and more.

“It’s difficult to be a pioneer in the spirits competition world these days and certainly there are any number of bartender competitions that name best cocktails but no one in the industry is looking at how brands PERFORM in cocktails the way UCC does,” says UBC founder, F. Paul Pacult. “We saw this as a perfect way to help companies market their brands in a new and innovative manner and ultimately give consumers an excellent tool to help them navigate their retailer store shelves.”

For the complete list of results for both Classic and Signature Challenges, including cocktail recipes, go to http://www.ultimate-beverage.com/ucc2011results. For a selection of downloadable images go to http://www.ultimate-beverage.com/ucc2011download.

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: Plymouth
  •     Extra Dry Martini: Beefeater London Dry
  •     Gin & Tonic: Beefeater 24
  •     Negroni: No. 3 London Dry

BEST VODKA in a…

  •     Bloody Mary: Vesica
  •     Cosmopolitan: Absolut Citron
  •     Vodka & Tonic: Luksusowa

BEST TEQUILA in a…

  •     Margarita w/Cointreau: Olmeca Plata
  •     Paloma: Izkali Reposado
  •     Tequila Sunrise: 901 Silver

BEST RUM in a…

  •     Daiquiri: Banks 5 Island
  •     Mojito: Banks 5 Island
  •     Mai Tai: Holey Dollar Silver Coin

BEST CACHAÇA in a…

  •     Batida de Fresa: Leblon
  •     Caipirinha: Leblon
  •     Caipirinha de Uva: Leblon

BEST COGNAC/BRANDY in a…

  •     Brandy Julep: Remy Martin VSOP
  •     Sidecar: Camus VS Elegance
  •     Stinger: Camus VSOP Elegance

BEST SCOTCH WHISKY in a…

  •     Blood & Sand: Highland Park 12 Years Old Single Malt
  •     Rob Roy: Highland Park 12 Years Old Single Malt
  •     Rusty Nail: The Macallan Fine Oak 10 Years Old Single Malt

BEST AMERICAN WHISKEY in a…

  •     Manhattan: Bulleit Rye
  •     Mint Julep: Bulleit Rye
  •     Old-Fashioned: George Dickel #12

BEST IRISH WHISKEY in a…

  •     Irish Coffee: Jameson Gold Blended
  •     Wild Irish Rose: Michael Collins Blended

BEST ORANGE LIQUEUR in a…

  •     Cosmopolitan: Cointreau
  •     Margarita: Cointreau
  •     Sidecar: Cointreau

CHAIRMAN’S TROPHY WINNERS – SIGNATURE COCKTAILS

Spirits 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 they provided:

GIN

  •     Beefeater 24: “French 75”
  •     Beefeater London Dry: “French 75”
  •     Hendrick’s: “LA Luna”

TEQUILA

  •     Don Julio Anejo: “Don Julio Luxury Cider House”
  •     Familia Camerena Reposado: “Camarena Santa Maria”

FLAVORED RUM

  •     Blackbeard Spiced Rum: “Black Bitter & Stirred”

COGNAC/BRANDY

  •     Gran Duque D’alba: “Spanish Sidecar”
  •     Samogon Unaged Grape Spirit: “From Russia With Love”

SCOTCH WHISKY

  •     Glenfiddich 12 Years Old Single Malt: “Blood and Sanguinello”

LIQUEURS

  •     Cointreau: “Cointreau Cup”

ABSINTHE

  •     Pernod Absinthe: “Green Beast”

VERMOUTH

  •     Noilly Prat Original: “Le Flip, C’est Chic”

OTHER LIQUEURS

  •     Becherovka Herbal: “Czech:Up”
  •     St:Germain: “The St:Germain Cocktail”

“Leave it to Paul to come up with a truly new way to look at cocktails!” says Julie Reiner, UCC judge and proprietor of Flatiron Lounge, The Clover Club and Lani Kai. “I looked around the room at my fellow judges and thought, we are really doing something groundbreaking and important here with Ultimate Cocktail Challenge. Paul’s judging methodology and criteria make UCC the most credible competition I know. And I can speak for every one of the UCC judges when I say we are all in favor of better cocktails!”

“Because of UCC’s exacting methodology, preconceptions or assumptions about a spirit are really challenged,” says UCC bartender Sean Hoard. “Based on UCC results consumers can make better informed decisions when ordering in a bar or making a cocktail at home and brands can market their product as the winner of a truly level playing field.”

UBC’s third and final Challenge for 2011 is: ULTIMATE WINE CHALLENGE, May 2-6, 2011. Go to http://www.ultimate-beverage.com/wine-contest/ for more information.

ABOUT ULTIMATE BEVERAGE CHALLENGE (http://www.ultimate-beverage.com)
Ultimate Beverage Challenge (UBC) provides expert evaluation of spirits, cocktails and wines for producers, importers and marketers through its three innovative annual competitions - Ultimate Spirits Challenge, Ultimate Cocktail Challenge and Ultimate Wine Challenge. UBC promotes the results from the Challenges to consumers, media and members of the trade through its Web site, email, blogs, newsletters, videos and social media. In addition, UBC hosts a gala consumer, media and trade tasting event, Ultimate Blast, in NYC on October 14, 2011, to showcase the most noteworthy spirits, cocktails and wines.

For additional information about the 2011 Challenges and to see photos, videos and press coverage go to http://www.ultimate-beverage.com/ or contact us directly at info(at)ultimate-beverage(dot)com or 1-347-878-6551.

Media inquiries: Contact Manuela Savona at Savona Communications: 1-917-969-1275 or manuela(at)savonacommunications(dot)com

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Manuela Savona
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