Once again, Drawing Room bartenders have shown Chicago that they are a force to be reckoned with. Tuesday night, Tim Lacey and Sergio Serna took the stage in the Chicago division of the 42 Below Cocktail World Cup. Tim’s cleverly-named cocktail “All Sales are Final, Void Where Prohibited By Law” came away with top honors. Tim will move on to the national competition in New York. The top three winners of that event will then go on to represent the United States in the finals in New Zealand. Thirteen cities in the United States are each sending two competitors to New York. Last year, Tim narrowly missed the New York trip. Prior to that, our own Chief Mixologist Charles Joly made it all the way to New Zealand and placed 2nd in the International competition of the Cocktail World Cup.
Tim’s inspiration for his snowcone and cotton candy cocktail was the Carnivale theme of the 42 Below competition. “I know they were going for the more elegant ‘Carnivale’, but my drink is definitely ‘carnival’. As in, the carnival that’s set up in the parking lot of Lane Tech with rides that are one bolt away from collapsing and killing hundreds.” And where did Tim get the wonderful name, “All Sales are Final, Void Where Prohibited By Law”? “It’s a line from a kick-ass Tom Waits song called Lucky Day Overture, where he sings as a carnival barker.” In further keeping with the carnival theme, Tim was assisted by his lovely wife, Lisa, and Drawing Room apprentice Grant Hurless. Lisa manned the cotton candy machine while Grant served as ringmaster.
For his winning cocktail, Tim chose 42 Below Manuka Honey Vodka. He served it over crushed ice, sno-cone style, with apricot liqueur, honey syrup, lemon juice, Bitterman’s Tiki Bitters and ginger beer. The cocktail came with a side of sarsaparilla cotton candy, which was made with sarsaparilla root, Bacardi 151, star anise and chai tea. Carnival indeed!
This was Sergio’s first crack at the 42 Below competition. As an apprentice behind the Drawing Room bar he is studying flavor profiles with the best to begin developing his own recipes. His concoction, the K.T. Wellington,is named for the town in New Zealand in which 42 Below is produced. K stands for kiwi and T for thyme. Sergio said of his inspiration for the cocktail, “I wanted to incorporate herbs and spices to complement the fruit-driven kiwi vodka.” Sergio’s drink began with 42 Below Kiwi vodka, fresh lemon juice, infused green tea, simple syrup and Velvet Falernum. He smoked the martini glass with a sprig of flamed Chartreuse-soaked thyme and garnished the peridot-colored drink with a flourish of kiwi and thyme.
Congratulations to both Tim and Sergio, check back for results from the New York competition at the end of February. Unfortunately these delicious cocktails are not available in the Drawing Room due to their intricate nature, but they are great inspiration for future Culinary Cocktails!