The Shake Down
The Vodka Cup was divided into two competitions. First, the five US champions participated in the US Shake Off. The winner from this event went on to represent the USA in the International finals, a few hours later.
Both competitions took place at this bar, made entirely of ICE, in the Ice Hotel, in Lapland, Finland.
In both competitions, the bartenders made three rounds of drinks; an aperitif, a long drink and a dessert drink. Each round was timed, so the bartenders had 7 minutes to create their cocktails, consisting of up to 5 ingredients and a garnish. When the buzzer went off, the compeleted cocktails were taken back to the judges who sat in a separate (heated) building.
The main room, in which the competition took place, was well below zero (as was the whole ice construction) and the bartenders hands shook (from nerves and the cold), while the rest of us sipped warm beverages in our full-body snowsuits (my favorite was the Finlandia Mango with Hot Chocolate... YUM!) God bless the bartenders!
The Five US Regional Finalists are:
Drinks: Mango Tango
Bera Skin Rug
Drinks: Mango Warm Up
Thai Lime Cooler
Fin Berry Brulee
Drinks: Coy Fin Cocktail
Drinks: Helsinkian Nuclear Wombat
Drinks: Wango Mango
Finnish Fama Mama
Key to Finland
Stay tuned for an upcoming post on the winner of the US Shake Off, who went on to meet 21 international competitors in the finals... (and, yes, I will be providing drink photos and recipes!)