Justin Lavenue’s North America Finals Winning Cocktail

Justin Lavenue’s North America Finals Winning Cocktail

Justin Lavenue’s North America Finals Winning Cocktail
Bombay Sapphire North American Brand Ambassador Gary Hayward, MIB 2015 Winner, Austin’s Justin Lavenue and Bombay Sapphire Global Brand Ambassador, Raj Nagra.

Austin’s Justin Lavenue (Roosevelt Room), who has just been announced as the 2015 North American winner of the 9th Annual Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender competition! After earning the regional title in August for the second year in a row, Justin advanced to the North American Finals last night (9/2) in Las Vegas – competing against 6 of North America’s most talented mixologists.

Last night, the North American Finals took place at Hakkasan Ling Ling Club at MGM Grand Las Vegas.  After careful deliberation by an esteemed panel of judges including — Trade Experts Tony Abou-Ganim and Alba Huerta, USBG Representative Reza Ismaili, and “blind” judge for the evening, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Global Brand Ambassador Raj Nagra — Justin’s “The Poet’s Muse” was announced as this year’s “Most Imaginative” Bombay Sapphire cocktail. Returning for the second year in a row, after making Top 5 last year, Justin’s winning drink has landed him a feature cover on GQ Magazine’s special December “Men of the Year” issue and will advance him to the Global Finals in 2016 to vie for the ultimate title: Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender! 

As previously mentioned, during the Semi-finals on Tuesday, September 1st at Magic Hour Studios in Las Vegas, the top 28 semi-finalists including Justin competed in a ‘Chopped’ pantry format competition. In seven rounds with four bartenders in each, Justin competed against Portland, Philadelphia, and the Norwegian Cruise Line Bartender in Round 3, using a giant ice block as the secret ingredient. After an intense 15-minute heat, Justin impressed the judges with his imaginative “Vyrnwy to Vegas” cocktail, making his way into the Top 7 finalists alongside: Montreal, Boston, New York, Las Vegas (People’s Choice Winner), San Francisco and Tampa.

Justin Lavenue’s North America Finals Winning Cocktail:

The Poet’s Muse

Justin Lavenue’s North America Finals Winning Cocktail2 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin

.75 oz. Poet’s Cordial

.75 oz. Yuzu-Lime blend

2 dashes Umami tincture

Hard shaken over a large ice cube. Strained into a large coupe glass with the large ice cube dropped in. Garnished with a lime peel Rosette. Served on a Zen Garden.

Poet’s Cordial Prep: 1 L Pistachio Milk (1 park unsalted pistachio meat, 2 parts water, blended and strained), 800ml Wildflower Honey, 2 cinnamon sticks, 4 Star Anise pods, 1 vanilla bean, 2 tablespoons Matcha Green Tea Powder. Combine ingredients, mix well, and let rest for three days. Fine strain and bottle.

Citrus Blend: 15 parts fresh lime juice, 1 part Yuzu concentrate. Mix well and bottle.

Umami tincture: 30 Shitake mushrooms (chopped), 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 6 oz Bombay Sapphire, 1 tablespoon Himalayan Salt. Saute the Mushrooms in butter for 10 minutes. Add Bombay Sapphire and salt and steep for another 10 minutes. Strain mushrooms off and freeze to let fats coagulate. Strain off fats and bottle.

Justin Lavanue’s Semifinals Winning Cocktail:

Vyrnwy to Vegas

Justin Lavenue’s North America Finals Winning Cocktail



.5 oz Fino Sherry

.25 oz Maraschino Liquor


Garnished with lemon peel, grated nutmeg, salt, cassia bark