On Wednesday, August 5, a crowd of of cocktail aficionados gathered to determine who should be named the Minneapolis winner of Bombay Sapphire’s 9th Annual Most Imaginative Bartender Competition.
Mixologists from Minneapolis and Indianapolis created cocktails for the guests to try and then vote on. After careful tasting and deliberation, the judges named Nathaniel Smith from Spoon and Stable and his “The Silk Road” cocktail as the evening’s “Most Imaginative” based on appearance, aroma, imagination, and taste.
Nathaniel will now head to Las Vegas in September to vie for the ultimate title and compete against top bartenders from across North America.
Says Nathaniel, the recipe for The Silk Road “is based on an Indian condiment dish called raita, which is made from yogurt, celery, and spices. Growing up my father sold oriental rugs, and when we as a family would host businessmen from the Middle East one of the only places in Minneapolis in the 80s that didn’t serve alcohol or pork was an Indian restaurant.
“Now I love spice, but as a child I couldn’t eat anything but raita. Years later, I worked at an Indian restaurant (different one) and realized this was the dish from my childhood. I was already into gin by then and realized the similarities – both are crisp, refreshing, nuanced, and use spices and botanicals to enhance flavors and aromas.
“The Silk Road to me represents the exchange of ideas, cultures, and flavors, like the raita, and like Bombay Sapphire, searching the globe to make the best expression of one’s craft.”
You ready for the recipe? Here it is:
- 1.75 Bombay Sapphire
- .75 Fresh Lemon Juice
- .75 Saffron Simple Syrup
- 8 drops Charnushka-infused Peychaud’s Bitters
- 1 barspoon Turmeric/Smoked Spanish Paprika/Black Pepper/Pink Himalayan Salt/Greek Yogurt
- Celery Stalk
Garnish: Smoked Spanish Paprika & Strega Liqueur
Congrats to Nathaniel, and good luck in Las Vegas!