February 10, 2011 | 10:48am
How do you know when you make the step from just a bartender to having you master's in mixology?
When you have your own naturally recognized, signature drink, of course.
Last month, bartenders from across the country competed in the national 4 Orange Vodka
Classic Cocktail Competition for the chance to craft an original cocktail using their product.
The local Miami-based, semi-final event took place Jan. 31 at Eden South Beach, where six bartenders from area hotspots -- including winner Paul Sevigny from the Florida Room -- battled it out for a chance to win a $500 cash prize and the opportunity to compete in the national final competition at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival on Feb. 25.
Sevigny dubbed his winning drink "Purple Haze," which combines red zinfandel, wine, honey, and fresh fig preserves served in a mason jar.
The grand prize: $3,000 and the title "4 Orange Vodka U.S. Champion 2011" -- as well as the chance to have your drink added to drink menus nationwide.
The 4 Orange Vodka is the world's first vodka made exclusively from Florida oranges. Distilled from 100% orange spirits and derived from four unique orange varieties, just one bottle of 4 Orange Vodka contains approximately 20 Florida oranges.
The qualifying finalists will be going head-to-head in a few weeks to earn the right to have their signature recipes showcased for a celebrity panel of industry leaders - and win the title as the best cocktail using 4 Oranges Vodka.
The Food Network's South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine is a national, star-studded, four-day destination event showcasing the talents of the world's most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities. 4 Orange Vodka, one of the proud sponsors of the Festival, will participate in the Wine Spectator Trade Tasting and the Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village.
4 Orange Vodka will also be making an on-site donation to The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Southern Florida.
WHEN: Friday, February 25, 2011 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: 13th Street & Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL
Make Your Own
1.5 oz. 4 Orange Vodka
1 oz. Red Zinfandel
.5 oz. Lemon Juice
.5 oz. Orange Flower Honey
Barspoon of Fig Preserve
Garnished with thyme and dried fig
Served in a mason jar with a steel straw