The United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG), the leading organization of beverage service professionals, hosted the regional finals of the “Most Imaginative Bartender” competition, sponsored by BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin, featuring some of New York’s most promising mixology talent.

A series of challenging timed sessions and blind tastings was conducted by a panel of esteemed judges. At the end of the evening, Cangemi’s innovative ”Elisir d’Amore” made with aphrodisiac spices such as ginger, chamomile and coriander was recognized as the most creative cocktail in his hometown based on appearance, aroma, imagination and taste. Cangemi’s winning creation will now advance him to the USBG Most Imaginative Bartender Finals in Las Vegas to be held on September 8, 2014. He will share the stage with 39 of the country’s top mixologists for a chance at the title of “Nation’s Most Imaginative Bartender,” also resulting in a cover feature of GQ magazine’s “Men of the Year” December 2014 issue.

“It’s an absolute honor to have the opportunity to be nationally recognized in my field,” says Cangemi.

“To be able to compete alongside some of the most talented bartenders across the nation is something very few will have a chance to do, and I’m looking forward to seeing how far I can go against the best of the best. There’s so much emerging talent in the bartending field around the country, and the USBG and BOMBAY SAPPHIRE are really doing a great service by bringing the craft of bartenders to the forefront. I’ve worked harder than you can imagine to get where I am and I’m ecstatic to have this opportunity. I’ll be bringing my A game!”

Ned Duggan, VP, Managing Director for BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin had this to say,

“It’s astounding to see how much the USBG Most Imaginative Bartender Competition has grown and evolved, and continues to expand globally after seven years. The purpose of the USBG competition has always been to unearth new talent in the bartending field, and to help move the whole industry forward in the process. Their creativity, craftsmanship and passion have been inspiring. We’re excited to see what this year’s talent has to offer, and we wish Vicenzo the best of luck in Las Vegas.”

For the first time this year, in appreciation of the public’s growing interest in mixology, each local event will also feature a Consumer Cocktail Hour. Guests will be invited to attend, sample and vote for their favorite cocktail among the contending bartenders. Their final votes will then determine a separate People’s Choice Winner of the competition.


Vincenzo Cangemi’s Winning Cocktail, Elisir d’Amore


  • 1 3/4 oz. Bombay Sapphire
  • 1/2 oz. Solerno blood orange Liquor
  • 3/4 oz. Reduction of fresh Camomille flowers & Ginger beer
  • 1/2 oz. Lemon juice
  • 6-7 Yellow Endive leaves
  • 1 Bar spoon coriander seeds

Preparation: Pour into a shaker 1/2 oz. of lemon juice a bar spoon of coriander and 3/4 oz. of reduction, muddle it until breaks the seeds, then add 7 leaves of yellow endive and muddle them over the coriander seeds already opened. Then pour 1 3/4 oz. of Bombay Sapphire, and 1/2 oz. of Solerno to complete. Now shake and double strain into a coupette. Garnish with endive, reduction, orange wheel, and coriander.

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