Most Imaginative Bartender Search Culminates in Vegas

The 2013 winner of Bombay Sapphire’s “Most Imaginative Bartender” competition was named at Light nightclub inside Mandalay Bay on Sep. 9, 2013. Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, star of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” served as a guest judge.

Miami’s Julio Cabrera won the national competition, beating out 51 other mixologists.

Chef Tom Colicchio and contest winner Julio Cabrera work the red carpet liquored-up like sailors. (We may have made up that last part.)

Chef Tom Colicchio and contest winner Julio Cabrera work the red carpet, liquored-up like sailors. (We may have made up that last part.)

Cabrera’s winning cocktail, the Queen Victoria, featured Bombay Sapphire gin (naturally, since the company sponsors the event, along with the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild).

The Queen Victoria contains 1.5 oz. of Bombay Sapphire, half-an-ounce of cucumber-mint syrup (with a pinch of salt and black pepper), half-an-ounce of lemon juice and a half ounce of St. Germain Elderflower liqueur. The ingredients are shaken well and served with fresh, grated black pepper on top.

The winning cocktail is pictured below, because that’s how this Las Vegas blog rolls.

While we've never personally had a cocktail, we hear they're very popular.

While we’ve never personally had a cocktail, we hear they’re very popular.

The gathering at Light afforded hundreds of guests a chance to sample the cocktails in the contest, and members of Cirque du Soleil were on-hand to provide some aerial entertainment.

The mermaid portion of the event went swimmingly.

The mermaid portion of the event went swimmingly.

As mentioned, chef Tom Colicchio served as guest judge. Colicchio recently opened a new Las Vegas restaurant, Heritage Steak at The Mirage.

Why are we always surprised when someone in the public eye turns out to be a nice guy?

Why are we always surprised when someone in the public eye turns out to be a nice guy?

Insider Las Vegas tip: Whenever you can, attend cocktail or bartending competitions. We’re just saying.

Alcohol. It probably has a slogan, but nobody can remember it.

Alcohol. It probably has a slogan, but nobody can remember it.

Julio Cabrera’s cocktail has landed him a cover of GQ Magazine’s December “Men of the Year” issue, as well as winning him a spot in the “Most Imaginative Bartender” global finals happening in London during 2014.

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