Calling All Contestants

G’Vine, Gin de France, is on the lookout for the G’Vine Gin Connoisseur 2010. The winning bartender will receive a year‘s supply of G’Vine, $3,000 and a trip for two through Amsterdam, London and Paris to explore the past, present and future of gin. The competition’s 12 global finalists will be flown to Paris and Cognac for a week of connoisseur challenges, seminars and the opportunity to run their own bar at the G’Vine Spring Ball. The 20 highest scoring competitors will be awarded ice moulds, shakers and aroma kits.

Each entrant must complete an online examination that includes five interactive modules covering an extensive overview of the gin category. Contenders also must create an original G’Vine cocktail and include it on their bar‘s cocktail list until at least Jan. 31. Philip Duff, mixologist, author and owner of Liquid Solutions Bar & Beverage Consulting and Door 74 in Amsterdam, supervises the competition and exams. The deadline to enter is Dec. 15. Details and full entry information and rules are available here.

Ian Fleming gave the world the Martini shaken, not stirred, and now, the 480-hotel Relais & Châteaux collection announces a competition for female mixologists to create Bond Girl-inspired Martinis. To enter, participants must upload a two- to three-minute video showing how to prepare the concoction and explain why the drink is one Bond Girls such as Honey Ryder, Solitaire or Vesper Lynd (who already has the Vesper) would like. Upload your video to a video sharing web site and send a link by Nov. 13. (Females can find all contest rules and regulations here — well, guys can find the rules, but they can’t enter. Don’t like it? Sue them.)

Five finalists will be selected based on originality, showmanship and explanation of the cocktail, and all must be available to participate in a final round of judging at a cocktail event to be held at the Relais & Châteaux Maison in Manhattan on Nov. 30. The contest winner will receive a two-night stay for two at one of the properties that is selected as a new U.S. member of Relais & Châteaux for 2010. In addition, the winner's video and recipe will be featured on the Relais & Châteaux Facebook page, and the cocktail will be served at select Relais & Châteaux resorts.

Apropos of the above, let’s go back to the 1950s and the passage in James Bond’s debut in Casino Royale that immortalized the Vesper:

"A dry Martini," [Bond] said. "One. In a deep Champagne goblet."

"Oui, monsieur."

"Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?"

"Certainly, monsieur." The barman seemed pleased with the idea.

"Gosh, that's certainly a drink," said Leiter.

Bond laughed. "When I'," he explained, "I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink's my own invention. I'm going to patent it when I can think of a good name."

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