By Derrek J. Hull, Blogger-in-Chief
Are you the next Star of the Bar? Professional and amateur mixologists are invited to go head to head and see who can create the nation’s most creative cocktail for the Star of the Bar title and $5,000 cash prize at the 2012 International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event. IWSB will be held at its new dates May 6 and 7 at Chicago's McCormick Place.
Interested in a shot at the title, a trip to Chicago to demonstrate your skills at IWSB, plus $5,000? Here’s how to enter:
- Perfect a signature cocktail recipe that prominently features at least one product from an IWSB exhibitor.
- Create a video no more than 2 minutes long and upload it to YouTube describing and mixing the drink.
- Submit the entry form online by April 6, 2012. Don't forget to include a link to the video in the written recipe section.
Tips for success:
- Be entertaining and personable.
- Consider the marketability of your cocktail, from the recipe to the name.
- Keep all of these judging criteria in mind: technical skill (25 percent), taste (50 percent) and sales appeal (25 percent).
Online voting will take place from April 9-11, so be sure to tap your social networks to spread the word about your entry. Six semi-finalists will be flown to Chicago to demonstrate their cocktail live on the exhibit floor in front of top food and beverage industry leaders at IWSB on Sunday, May 6, 2012.
IWSB attendees will help narrow the field to three finalists, who will then advance to the final round to be judged by Tony Abou-Ganim “The Master Mixologist,” “King Cocktail” Dale DeGroff, and Bravo’s Top Chef superstar Spike Mendelsohn at Restaurants Rock, the official party of the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show and IWSB. All proceeds will benefit ProStart, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s high school program that builds the industry's future leaders.
For more information, and to register for up to 50 percent savings (it’s $45 now, after March 30 it’s $90) for NRA Show and the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (to be held May 6-7), go to www.restaurant.org/show or www.winespiritsbeer.org. You can also find the NRA Show and IWSB on Twitter @NRAShow, Facebook, Linkedin and YouTube.