Bombay Sapphire and GQ presented the fourth annual Nation’s Most Inspired Bartender Search’s Las Vegas regional competition recently at Noir Bar. Ten finalists were chosen from 26 entrants to compete for a chance to represent Sin City in the finals to be held here later this month. “I think that we are doing a great job developing our underground mixology market,” says Vegas-based Team Enterprises special events manager Katie Dodd, on behalf of Bombay Sapphire. “We have some of the best in the nation in Vegas.”
The 10 cocktails were judged on practicality, taste and aroma, appearance and the judges’ overall impressions. Rhumbar lead bartender Kristen Schaefer dazzled the judges with her unique take on a White Lady, a classic cocktail consisting of gin, lemon juice, Cointreau and sometimes egg white. Named for her late uncle Don—an Englishman from Harlow in Essex known to dose his tea with gin—Schaefer’s presentation is a nod to both British and American history. “I thought it would be nostalgic to serve it in an English teacup, and that also correlates to Prohibition,” a time when liquor was often secreted in teacups. In honor of Don from Harlow, enjoy the Don Harlow in your home speakeasy.
- ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1 ounce Earl Grey tea-infused simple syrup (details below)
- 2 ounces Bombay Sapphire gin
- 1 ounce bitter orange espuma (details below)
- Pinch of loose, whole, white Earl Grey tea and an orange spice rock candy stirrer for garnish.
Combine the first four ingredients in a tin. Add ice, shake well and strain into a teacup. Top with espuma, a pinch of loose tea and serve with a rock candy stirrer.
Earl Grey Tea Simple Syrup
Bring 2 cups of water, 2 cups of sugar and 5 ounces of fresh, loose, white Earl Grey tea ( Tevanna.com) to a gentle boil for 10 minutes. Strain all tea from the syrup with a cheesecloth and cool.
Bitter Orange Espuma
- 1 ounce fresh lemon
- 1 ounce egg white
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- 2 dashes Fee Brothers orange bitters
In a glass or tin, blend all ingredients to a light froth with an Aerolatte (a steam-free, handheld frother; from $11.99 at aerolatte.com/us).