NCB Announces 2012 Awards Winners and Finlandia Vodka Cup Crowns Champion

Nightclub & Bar Media Group would like to congratulate the winners of the 2012 Nightclub & Bar Awards! The national awards program Awards celebrates the nightlife industry’s cream of the crop. As the premier nightlife-industry recognition program, the Nightclub & Bar Awards feature a vigorous judging process. Venue owners, operators and managers, as well as suppliers, vendors and other industry members eager to recognize excellence in on-premise concepts, programs, talent and professionalism are invited to submit entries. Qualifying entries then are presented to an expert judging panel composed of top consultants, developers, educators, writers, editors and trainers in the industry. The judges rank their first, second and third choices for each category; a mathematical calculation identifies the finalists and, ultimately, the winners, based on the judges’ ballots. For the full list of winners, visit

The world’s most elite bartenders came together in Helsinki, Finland, for the 14th Annual International Finlandia Vodka Cup on Feb. 1. At stakeKrzysztof Rathnau was international bragging rights and a chance to win up to $25,000. This year’s championship prize was awarded to Krzysztof Rathnau of Poland, who scored the highest in the overall competition. Additional prizes were awarded to Monica Berg of Norway who received top honors in the Quick Mix category, Jarkko Issukka of Finland for his aperitif cocktail and Andrei Todosi of Romania for his long drink.

During the Vodka Cup finals, a total of 12 judges critiqued bartenders on the art, style and craft of three original Finlandia cocktails: aperitif, a long drink and the “Quick Mix.” The international FVC Final followed the same format as in previous years but with a slight twist as each cocktail category featured a specific Finlandia product. Finlandia vodka was required to be the primary ingredient of each.

The Bourbon Women Association has announced the launch of its Bourbon Women Take Flight event series. The campaign, which is designed to promote interest in bourbon and engage members across the country, will kick off on March 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. in Lexington, Ky., at the Be Medispa. It is sponsored by the Lexington Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Each event will include unique networking opportunities, bourbon tastings and educational seminars from some of the country’s top bourbon experts. Other cities cited on the tour include Washington, D.C.; Dallas; Tucson, Ariz.; Boston; Chicago; and Los Angeles. The cost to attend this inaugural event in Lexington is $25 for tickets only or $50 to also receive a one-year Bourbon Women Association membership. Members may also register for $50 and renew their dues.

Thirty-two amateur and professional contestants traveled to downtown San Antonio, Texas, in January for the inaugural San Antonio Cocktail Conference. A panel of judges evaluated cocktails on taste, presentation and technique. According to, John Lermayer from the Florida Room in Miami won the $2,500 first prize with the Have a Heart, a variation of a daiquiri finished with Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters and nutmeg. Jake Corney from Bohanan's Restaurant and Bar in San Antonio won second place with a Linda Rose cocktail that he named after his girlfriend, and Austin Chef Charles Shelton placed third with The Protestant.

The East Coast likes its cocktails barrel-aged while the West Coast prefers to hype bubbly creations. Upscale Italian restaurant Bibiana Osteria Enoteca in Washington, D.C., features a pair of libations aged in one- and five-liter oak and chestnut casks; each drink spends two to three months in wood. According to the Nation's Restaurant News, one is a take on the classic Negroni made with London dry gin and two Italian products, orange-herbal bitters and sweet vermouth. Also gaining distinction is the Katia, made from rye whiskey, Italian bitters and housemade marasca cherry liqueur and chocolate bitters. Meanwhile, the Seattle Weekly reports that bars like Canon, Liberty, Montana, and the soon-to-be-revived Vessel all have carbonated cocktails on the menu, created with the professional version of the Perlini system. Reportedly, lighter cocktails, such as the Corpse Reviver No. 2 and the Negroni, work best with a little extra fizz.


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