The 2011 competition will run from March through May. Each of the USBG chapters will submit two (2) participants to compete at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic in New York City, May 14th. The challenge is to showcase Serrallés’ versatile “cocktail friendly” portfolio, including DonQ and BlackBeard Spiced Rums, by integrating fresh, seasonal produce to create the most innovative and expertly presented libations. The competition is divided into two categories with one (1) competitor per USBG chapter eligible to enter each category.
Category 1: Fancy Spirited Cocktails – adhering to the USBG competition guidelines, each mixologist must showcase a ‘signature ingredient’ such as: home-made bitters, foams and the like. This cocktail will be judged primarily on creativity, technique, seasonality and visual appearance.
Category 2: Fruit Forward Long Drink – mixologists must emphasize seasonal ingredients in a rum drink and its garnish. The drinks will be judged on technique, creativity, flavor and visual effect.
A panel of respected industry professionals will judge the Ultimate MixOff Challenge semi-finals. With an equal emphasis on creativity and craftsmanship, judges will select two (2) winners from each category and then open the judging up to the audience to determine one (1) crowd favorite.
The total of five (5) winners from the New York competition will be flown to Puerto Rico to tour the Destilería Serrallés and visit the Serrallés Castle. On their return, the winners will present a tailored mixology seminar to the their respective USBG chapters. In addition to the winners’ individual prize package, a $5,000 donation will be made to the winning chapter’s non-profit affiliation.
“DonQ’s ongoing alliance with the United States Bartenders’ Guild enables the nation’s top mixology talent to take the stage to be judged by some of the industry’s finest critics & cocktail authorities,” said John Eason, VP National Sales Manager, Serrallés USA. “This year’s focus on seasonality and exceptional cocktail ingredients is an extension of Serrallés’ commitment to the emerging rum and cocktail service industry.”
The 2010 MixItUp challenge winner was Hiram Ávila from San Juan, PR who won with his innovative “Cucumbertini,” combining DonQ Cristal, DonQ Añejo, DonQ Coco, ginger syrup and cucumber juice.