While the rain was pouring outside the gin was pouring inside as six area mixologists went head-to-head to compete for Most Imaginative Bartender in the 2015 Bombay Sapphire Regional Bartending Competition held at the Roof on theWit on Monday, August 17.
Bartenders from Indiana and Illinois whipped up their most creative gin based inventions but only one could walk away with the grand prize: a trip to Las Vegas to compete for the national title and a chance to grace the cover of GQ Magazine.
Competitors created cocktails with Bombay Sapphire gin and were allowed up to six other ingredients to complete their concoction. Guests at the private event were given GQ chips to cast the vote for the People’s Choice Award, however the judge’s pick decided the winner.
Bartenders were timed and judged based on several criteria including creativity, efficiency and cleanliness. Delicious bar bites were passed around and samplings of gin cocktails were enjoyed. Check out the results!
Winner of the People’s Choice Award was “The Jewel of the Nile”. The cocktail was inspired from North Africa and similar to an Old Fashion. The creator added simple syrup and a hint of Baharat to give the drink a spicy finishing kick.
Another crowd favorite and the judge’s choice was a diabolical creation by Egor Polonsky of Untitled Chicago, a speakeasy in River North. Polonsky’s “beer-like” cocktail appropriately named “Native Speech”, used two ounces of Bombay infused with bread syrup, a Doppelbock reduction and topped with air mixed with Polugar, a Russian vodka.
Polonsky will now represent the city of Chicago and go on to compete in the national competition in Las Vegas in September.