U.S.A.! U.S.A.! Team USA Schools Rest of World at 42Below Cocktail World Cup

Word came in yesterday from Wellington, New Zealand that Team USA had topped everyone else in the world and been named the best bartenders in the world at the 6th annual 42Below World Cocktail Cup. From a field of two thousand, the three fellas from the United States battled their way into the finals and, over five days of grueling competition between twenty-four bartenders from seven different countries, didn't just win the competition, but did so handily with their rather verbose final cocktail, called the "I have too much thyme on my hands right now at this point in my life."

Yeah, I know. Weird.

Wanna know what's even weirder (by which I mean super-fucking-cool)? According to reports out of New Zealand, Team USA made their final presentation while being backed up on stage by Run DMC.

Ladies and gentlemen, the best bartenders in the world...
The three champion bartenders making up the team are Todd Thrasher from the PX Lounge in Washington D.C., Sean Hoard of PDT in New York City and Mark Stoddard from The Bitter Bar at Happy in Denver, Colorado (who, apparently, didn't get the memo about bars only being identified by initials now). And they've been on this trail to the finals for a looooong time, working their way through months of regionals, nationals, competitions in their home cities and away games. It's serious business. And then, once national teams have been chosen (which, sadly, didn't include any of the Pacific Northwest barmen who qualified locally back in February), they all fly out to New Zealand for five days of non-stop partying and cocktail-mixing. These guys have been on helicopters. They've been thrown off bridges. They've attended huge dinners. I think the London team ended up in jail. And through it all, our own vodka-slingin' yanks managed to prevail--besting teams from France, Italy, Australia, the UK, Ireland, London and New Zealand in a live final. The team from France came in second with some kind of cocktail called "Le Rendez-Vous" that also involved a dessert made live on stage. And third place went to the home team--the New Zealanders--who somehow managed to combine honey, chocolate, over-proof rums, gunpowder and fire all together into something drinkable without killing themselves or any of the judges--an achievement all on its own.

For those of you who are interested, the recipe for the winning American cocktail is below. You can also check out the drink that got Stoddard onto Team USA by clicking here. And I'm still trying to get my hands on a prep sheet for Team New Zealand's entry--and one of those bomb-suits to wear while making it.


"I Have Too Much Thyme On My Hands Right Now At This Point In My Life"

(1 oz) 42BELOW vodka

(1/2 oz) aritchoke aperitif

(1 1/2 oz) lime thyme syrup

Liberal dash of apple bitters

Compressed apple thyme balls to garnish

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