Ran Duan from the Baldwin Bar in Boston, Massachusetts won the global final at the 2014 Most Imaginative Bartender national competition. Along with permanent bragging rights, Ran will be featured on an upcoming cover of GQ Magazine.
The event took place September 10th, 2014 at XS in Las Vegas, Nevada, the nation’s number one nightclub according to the annual Nightclub & Bar Top 100. Sister-club Surrender featured the after party where contestants and brand executives celebrated over Bacardi bottle service.
Spectators were able to taste and vote for their favorite Bombay cocktail of the night. The mixes boasted creative names such as the Ornament in Crime by Tacy Rowland of Colorado and the Empress of India. The First Love by Robin Kaufman of Canada won the people’s choice award.
My favorite was an inspired take on the classic lemon drop martini that featured a fresh basil sprig, a slice of dried blood orange and a sugar rim. The flavor profile was delightfully balanced and well executed. Promotional models handed these to attendees after the Bombay Sapphire blue carpet. The concoction was hand poured from a silver shaker into the glass, dissolving a fluffy golf-ball sized edible in the middle of the martini. I wish I knew more about this drink!