Annie Pierce of Curio in Columbus became the first-ever female winner this week of the United States Bartenders Guild’s 11th Annual Most Imaginative Bartender Competition.
The competition took place in London, England for the second year in a row where twelve of the top mixologists from the United States and Canada competed for the title. The annual event is presented by Bombay Sapphire Gin.
With her final cocktail London x Tokyo, infused with snap peas, Annie beat out the competition and was officially named the 2017 Most Imaginative Bartender winner. As a result of her victory, Annie was named GQ Magazine’s “Bartender in Residence,” where she will collaborate on a series of cocktail videos and act as an in-house cocktail and culture expert throughout the year for the magazine and additional Conde Nast publications.
Throughout the week, the 12 finalists’ bartending skills were put to the test as they competed in a series of four challenges that accounted for their final overall score. The Final Cocktail Showcase took place atthe Connaught, where each competitor presented their final drink, scored on flavor, imagination, presentation and cocktail appearance.
As the competition came to a close, the finalists celebrated at a gala held at The Gherkin where the panel of judges — including New York-based mixologist and Owner of Pouring Ribbons, Joaquin Simo; Phoenix mixologist and beverage consultant Kim Hassarud (Liquid Architecture); and Bombay Sapphire’s North American Brand Ambassador Gary Hayward — officially announced Annie as the winner.
London X Tokyo
1.75 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin washed with Persian lime infused olive oil
1.33 oz. Blanc vermouth infused with sugar snap peas
0.25 oz. Verjus
Shiso olive oil