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10th Annual United States Bartenders’ Guild Most Imaginative Bartender Competition Names San Diego’s Mike West Winner Among SoCal's Top Talent

Mike West
June 30, 2016

The United States Bartenders’ Guild hosted the regional finals of the 10th Annual Most Imaginative Bartender Competition in Los Angeles on June 29, where 10 of the top bartenders from Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas and Honolulu brought their most creative works of art to the table utilizing every skill necessary to craft the most imaginative cocktail that would make a memorable first impression on the esteemed panel of judges. At the end of the evening, San Diego’s Mike West, who created the Bridge Street Garden cocktail was announced as Los Angeles’ 2016 Most Imaginative Bartender Winner. West will now move on to compete at the North American Finals in England along with 9 of the top bartenders across the U.S. and Canada.

For the very first time this August, and in celebration of the program’s 10th Anniversary, the Top 10 Most Imaginative Bartender finalists will travel to London and the Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstoke Mill Distillery to vie for the 2016 North American title. The grand prize winner will receive a trip to Tuscany to learn about a selection of botanicals that are vapour-infused within the gin and will also be featured on a special edition cover of GQ Magazine’s December Men of the Year issue.

“It’s an honor for my cocktail to be recognized by such an esteemed panel of judges. It’s been quite the journey to get to this point," says West. "A lot of the winners of The USBG Most Imaginative Bartender competition are universally known within the bartender community, and this competition helped jumpstart their careers. It’s humbling to be considered at the level of their talent. I can’t wait to represent San Diego this fall in London along with some of the world’s greatest bartenders.” 

Mike West is currently a sales representative for H Mercer Imports, as well as a bar consultant for Casa in Costa Mesa and the bar director at Social in Costa Mesa. The recipe for his award-winning Bridge Street Garden cocktail is below so that you can try and mix one up for yourself!

Bridge Street Garden1 ¼ oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
1 ¼ oz Aromatic Earl Grey Tea
¾ oz Pistachio Orgeat
½ oz Suze
Barspoon Vanilla Crème
2 Dashes Citric Acid Aromatic Rose Water