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We’re told all good things must come to an end, though in this case, the end is more like a new beginning (in the form of a trip to Trinidad to compete on a global stage). The North American finals of our 2019 House of ANGOSTURA® Global Cocktail Challenge has officially come to a close, but not before a memorable night packed with 10 amazing cocktails courtesy of five of North America’s most elite bartenders. We wish we could send them all, but at the end of the night, only one bartender would walk away with a boarding pass to Trinidad and Tobago.

The competition was immediately off to a strong start with two creations from Jared Schmidt, a bartender at The Orchard Room in Kelowna, Canada. He whipped up his Phoenix featuring Angostura 1919 Rum to evoke the taste of Trinidad and Tobago and the Bitter End made with Amaro Di ANGOSTURA.

Next up behind the bar was Jarred Craven, a bartender at the acclaimed Drink Well in Austin, Texas. He used his cocktail expertise to craft and serve the Sipper Club, made with Angostura 1919 Rum and reminiscent of old-school supper clubs in the 50s and 60s, and Ango Management, which incorporated Amaro di ANGOSTURA.        

Then Chad Lawrence, a bar manager at Comery Block in Calgary, Canada, stepped up to the bar. He shook things up (pun only somewhat intended) with his two killer cocktails, Along the Banks made with ANGOSTURA 7 Year Rum and the Jaguars Breath made with Amaro di ANGOSTURA. Both cocktails were inspired by the notion of bringing order to life’s inherent chaos using ANGOSTURA bitters.       

Who could possibly follow that performance? Why, David Roth, of course, the head bartender at Covina in New York. He served up some Trinidadian flare with his 7 Year Swizzle, a cocktail featuring ANGOSTURA 7 Year Rum and paid homage to the origins of our aromatic bitters with the Doctor Siegert’s Sour, which calls for Amaro di ANGOSTURA and is inspired by the Angostura Sour and Trinidad Sour.

And last, but certainly not least, Lance Bowman, the beverage director at Monnie Burke’s in Chicago, Illinois, showed us some of his finest work. If you want to talk about ending on a high note, his Love of Tea-ki made with ANGOSTURA 7 Year Rum and Bella y Amarga featuring Amaro di ANGOSTURA were just the way to do it. In fact, his Love of Tea-ki cocktail was such a crowd pleaser that it took home the fan-favorite award at the end of the night!

While a final decision like this one never comes easily, the judges carefully considered the cocktails, craftsmanship and style to determine the 2019 ANGOSTURA Global Cocktail Challenge North American champion…

Chad Lawrence from Comery Block in Calgary, Canada!

Huge congratulations to Chad – we’re grateful to him and the rest of the competitors for keeping us all on the edge of our seats with creative cocktails and fierce competition.

Our champion now begins his road to Trinidad, with only a few months before he goes head to head with the world’s best bartenders and mixologists during Carnival. And this time, the stakes are even higher: they’ll be competing for the grand prize of a two-year contract as the next House of ANGOSTURA® Global Brand Ambassador.

Until then, we invite you to try your hand at our North American finalists’ original cocktail recipes below.

Jared Schmidt recipes:

Phoenix

1.5 oz Angostura 1919 Rum

.75 oz Torino Sweet Vermouth

.25 oz Cocoa nib-infused Dry Orange Curacao

5 Dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters

2 Dashes Angostura Orange Bitters

Garnish: Orange Zest

Method:

Using a smoking gun, add applewood chip smoke to a clean bottle.  Combine all alcohol and bitter ingredients into a mixing glass.  Add ice, stir for 15-20 seconds. Strain into smoke filled bottle.  Prepare rocks glass with clear ice and express an orange zest around the rim.  Pour smoked cocktail into the glass.  Add the orange zest garnish to the rim and serve.

Bitter End

1.5 oz Amaro di Angostura

.5 oz Ginger Liqueur

.5 oz Yellow Chartreuse

.5 oz Lime Juice

1.5 oz Pineapple Juice

.75 oz Tamarind Syrup

2 Dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Garnish: Mint Sprig, Pineapple Leaves & squeezed lime husk.

Method:

In a shaker tin, combine all alcohol, juice and bitters.  Shake and strain into a tiki glass.  Fill with crushed ice until full.  Garnish with mint sprig, squeezed lime husk and pineapple leaves.  Serve with metal straw.

Jarred Craven recipes:

Sipper Club

.75 oz Angostura 1919 Rum

.75 oz Angostura 7 Yr Rum

.5 oz Amaro di Angostura

.5 oz Amontillado Sherry

.25 oz Banana Liqueur

5 Dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Method:

Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass.  Strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass. Garnish with a fresh orange peel.

Ango Management

1 oz Amaro di Angostura

.5 oz Angostura 7 Yr Rum

1 oz Pineapple Juice

.5 oz Lime Juice

.5 oz Spiced Honey Syrup

.25 oz Allspice Dram

3 Dashes Angostura Orange Bitters

Method:

Shake all ingredients with ice.  Serve in a Collins glass with crushed ice.  Garnish with pineapple fronds, fresh pineapple and mint.

David Roth recipes:

7 Year Swizzle

2 oz Angostura 7 Yr Rum

1 oz Cinnamon Infused Honey Syrup

.5 oz Lime Juice

2 Dashes Angostura Orange Bitters

5 Dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Garnish: Mint Sprig, Grapefruit peel and fresh grated nutmeg.

Method:

In a Pilsner glass, add Angostura Orange Bitters, lime juice cinnamon honey syrup and Angostura 7 Yr into the glass.  Fill glass ¾ full with pebble ice.  Swizzle with a swizzle stick for 12 seconds.  Top off the glass with more pebble ice and top with 5 dashes of Angostura Aromatic Bitters.   Garnish with mint sprig, expressed grapefruit peel and grated nutmeg.

Doctor Siegerts Sour

1.25 oz Amaro di Angostura

.5 oz Benedictine

.5 oz Lemon Juice

1 Egg White

3 Dashes Vanilla bean infused Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Method:

Crack egg into a mixing tin.  Add 3 dashes of vanilla bean infused Angostura Aromatic Bitters, lemon juice, Benedictine and Amaro.  Fill with kold draft cubes and shake for 12 seconds.  Strain the liquid into a tin and dry shake for another 12 seconds.  Double Strain into a chilled Nick & Nora Glass.  Garnish with 3 drops of vanilla infused bitters – creating an Angostura heart on top.

Lance Bowman recipes:

Love Of Tea-ki

2 oz Angostura 7 Yr Rum

.75 oz Falernum (John d Taylor’s preferred)

.75 oz Lime

.75 oz Chamomile & Sage Stem Simple Syrup

.25 oz Yuzu Juice

2 Dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters

2 Dashes Angostura Orange Bitters

Method:

Chill a double old fashioned glass.  Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin, add ice and shake.  Double strain over a large ice cube in chilled old fashioned glass.  Garnish with candied kumquat and pineapple on a gold skewer and sage leaves in glass.

Bella y Amarga

1 oz Amaro di Angostura

1 oz Port (Fonseca Bin 27 preferred)

.5 oz Sotol (Flore del Desierto preferred)

.75 oz Earl Grey Simple Syrup

.75 oz Lemon Juice

2 Dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters

1 Dash Angostura Orange Bitters

1 Egg White

Method:

Chill a cocktail coupe.  Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin, dry shake, add ice and shake again.  Double strain into a chilled coupe.  Garnish with a skewered orange rose and a stenciled mist of Angostura Aromatic Bitters.

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The House of ANGOSTURA® Global Cocktail Challenge is in full swing and on Monday, October 7th, the North-American finalists will go head to head in Austin, Texas, to see who will advance to the finals in Trinidad. We’ve searched far and wide for the region’s most talented mixologists, testing their creativity and skill, and asking them why they want a chance to represent The House of ANGOSTURA as our next global brand ambassador. The caliber of competitors was impressive and we give well-deserved props to every U.S. and Canadian bartender who threw their hat in the ring. With that in mind, we’ve selected our top five bartenders whose passion for their craft had our judges on the edge of their seats.

We’re excited to announce that Chad Lawrence, Jared Schmidt, Lance Bowman, Jarred Craven and David Alan Roth will battle it out in Texas for the opportunity to move forward in the ANGOSTURA Global Cocktail Challenge. The to-be-determined victor will be crowned the North-American champion and will be flown out to our home island of Trinidad—where The House of ANGOSTURA has long produced its legendary bitters, rums and amaro—to compete against other regional finalists from around the world. Better yet, they’ll be doing it during the island’s 2020 Carnival celebration in February.

Check out our roster of talented North-American semi-finalists:

  • Chad Lawrence: A talented bar manager at Comery Block in Calgary, Canada, where he hand-curates cocktail lists and manages the service staff. He hopes to be so good that, in the words of Cal Newport, they can’t ignore him.
  • Jared Schmidt: A bartender at Orchard Room in Kelowna, Canada, where he designs and executes the exceptional beverage menu. But cocktails aren’t the only thing he can mix (hint:  he’s also got an aptitude for music).
  • Lance Bowman: As the beverage director at Monnie Burke’s in Chicago, Illinois, Lance has sharpened his slinging, pouring and cocktail-crafting skills to excellence—so much so that Esquire named a bar under his supervision one of the “Best 18.”
  • Jarred Craven: A bartender at the acclaimed Drink Well in Austin, Texas, Jarred is well known in the area for his cocktail-crafting skills. In fact, according to Thrillist, he’s one of the “17 Bartenders You Need to Know in Austin.” Guess we know who’s got home-court advantage!
  • David Roth: As the head bartender at Corvina in New York, David has mastered the art of cocktail crafting and hospitality. In fact, the bar program he oversees was recently nominated as one of the “Top 10 Hotel Bars in the USA East Region” by our friends at Tales of the Cocktail.

We don’t know about you, but the suspense is killing us. Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted throughout the competition with live updates on our Instagram Stories @angosturahouse. Tune in for a bar-side seat for all the action, and, of course, the much-awaited reveal of our North-American champion. We’ll also be sure to share our highlights from the competition on our blog. Until then, we’re counting down to October 7th. May the best bartender win!