Brad Coburn Pours it On! Wins Infinium Bartender Challenge Trip to Tales of the Cocktail
Sarasota’s Pangea Lounge and Charley’s Steak House Tampa Win in Luxury Class Cocktail Contest
The products were world class and the bartenders were all on their ‘A’ game for the 2012 Infinium Spirits Tampa Bartender Challenge held in St. Petersburg at Jannus LIVE on Monday April 23, 2012.
Bartenders from ten restaurants and bars in the Tampa Bay and Sarasota-Bradenton areas gathered to connect and compete in four categories with the overall winner taking cash and trip for two to the Tales of the Cocktail the annual Bartender conclave held in New Orleans.
A first-time entry to this event Brad Coburn of Pangea Lounge on Sarasota’s Main Street took three of four categories winning $750 as well as a trip for two with accommodations to the 10th Anniversary of the Tales of the Cocktail that will be held July 25-29, 2012 .
The team of Johnny Ciani and Gary Short from Charley’s Steak House in Tampa won $250 for cocktail creation called Blood Brothers using Crystal Head Vodka the Pure Spirit from Dan Aykroyd.
Infinium Spirits 2012 Tampa Bartender Challenge
The Infinium Spirits Challenge is sanctioned by the USBG (United States Bartending Guild) and Tampa’s Left Coast Bartending Guild was represented by last year’s winner Bob Wagner of Ciro’s Speakeasy & Supper Club, Hyde Park,Tampa, LCBG President Dean Hurst representing SideBern’s Restaurant, Hyde Park, Tampa, Danny Guess of the Fly Bar & Restaurant, Downtown Tampa and Jason Fackler of Mandarin Hide in Downtown St. Pete.
But this night belonged to Brad Coburn who won for his cocktail designs using Zaya Rum the aged perfected rum from Trinidad and Carlos Santana’s exquisite Casa Noble Tequila as well as for the use of Carpano Vermouth Antica in the Infinium ‘portfolio’ category.
The event was judged by Todd McNulty of the ‘coming soon’ Birchwood Inn in St. Petersburg and Matt Smith of the Parkshore Grill also in St. Petersburg, Florida, and for the second year by Larry ‘Smokey” Genta of BarMechanics.com
“This is a professional event with an array of outstanding products and exceptional representatives from both sides of the bar”, said Genta who also hosts the BeverageUnderground.com Network and an educational and entertaining beverage industry website.
The event is in its second year in the Tampa Area and for Judge Todd McNulty a perfect way to see some new ‘indigenous’ cocktail creations. McNulty who spent much of his career in Food & Beverage in Monterey, California will be the Beverage Coordinator at the new boutique hotel resort The Birchwood Inn.“I was looking for and found some great ‘Pure Florida’ Creations, this is a great annual event from a great supplier”, said McNulty.
Sous-Chef Matt Smith, was a last minute replacement for an ‘under the weather’ Master Chef Tyson Grant, of St. Petersburg’s award-winning Parkshore Grill. For Smith, who is already a well versed understudy of Grant at the Parkshore Grill it was a first time opportunity to judge creations of ‘bar chefs’ who use a garden of ingredients and elixirs to create cocktails using classic and traditional spirits like Fernet Branca, Branca Menta, Borghetti Expresso, Borghetti Sambuca, Punt E Mes and Carpano Vermouth Antica Formula.
“The spirit of competition is only a part of these Infinium Spirits Bartender Challenges” . “This is a growing community of real pros , and the camaraderie of this combination of Art and Alchemy brings new interest to our Industry”, said Genta who has entered and judged Cocktail recipe and flair Bartending competitions for over 25 years.
Orlando, Florida gets their first ever Infinium Spirits Bartender Challenge on Wednesday May 9 at XL gallery lounge located at 431 East Central in Orlando. Up to eight restaurants & bar staffs will vie for the same prize packages with a total of $1000 cash and another trip for two with accommodations to Tales of the Cocktail.
Dean Hurst, the founding President of the Left Coast Bartending Guild noted that the event was both a better format for bartender’s to show their creativity and also helps the membership for the young USBG chapter. The LCBG will be celebrating one year Sunset Tiki Party on St. Pete Beach on June 10.
“There was just a whole new group of charged up bartender’s, and that’s whats important’ said Hurst, the consummate professional who is the General Manager of SideBerns, the sister restaurant to the world famous Bern’s Steak House in Tampa.
The Winning Cocktails and all entered cocktails in the Infinium Spirits Cocktail Challenge can be enjoyed any night at the participating restaurants and bars:All links should lead you to these great bartenders and their Outrageous Infinium Spirits Cocktails
Category Winners: Lan Restaurant & Pangea , Sarasota, Charley’s Steak House, Tampa
Tampa- SideBerns, Ciro’s Speakeasy, Fly Bar
St.Pete-Mandarin Hide, Club Lust
Sarasota- Madd Hatter, Jake’s Tavern
Bradenton- The Distillery,
Winning Recipes by Category and Ingredients List
Zaya Rum -Duke of Daiquiri- Brad Coburn, Pangea
Zaya Rum, Earl Grey tea spherical ice cube, Demerara syrup, fresh lime juice, Bittermans Mole bitters.
Casa Noble Tequila- B’ing Noble-Brad Coburn, Pangea
Casa Noble Crystal tequila, smoked cherries, fresh lime & orange juice, spicy salt.
Crystal Head Vodka -Blood Brother-Johnny Ciani/Gary Short, Charley’s Steakhouse
Cristal Head Vodka, Homemade Organic Heirloom Tomato Juice, Garnish Wasabi Popcorn Rim, Panko Fried Crawfish, Cucumber fry
Portfolio: Vermouth Antica: Bitter Frullato-Brad Coburn, Pangea
Carpano Vermouth Antica, Tangerine Syrup, Egg, Nutmeg
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