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Canadian Team for the Cocktail World Cup Announced

Canadian Team for the Cocktail World Cup Announced

Tuesday 1st June, Auckland, New Zealand: 42 BELOW Vodka today announced the Canadian team that will compete in the 42 BELOW Cocktail World Cup event to be held on June 28th in Queenstown, New Zealand, as part of this year's annual Queenstown Winter Festival.

The Canadian Team is:

* Jay Jones, Bar Manager & Wine Director of West Restaurant & Bar, 2881 Granville Street @ 13th, Vancouver, B.C.

* Brad Stanton, Bar Manager of Blue Water Café & Raw Bar, 1095 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, B.C.

The selection process for the Canadian Team has been conducted over the last few months with candidates considered from hundreds of bars from all over Canada. The two competitors were chosen based on the quality and originality of their cocktail list and their performance behind the bar.

Jay and Brad will join the total squad of 32 being flown to Queenstown to hurl themselves off bridges, fly through the air, slide down fine powdered slopes and work their magic in a cocktail mixology competition on the side of Coronet peak.

The 42 BELOW Cocktail World Cup will be held in teams between different countries. 42 BELOW have searched for bartenders from the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The competitors include:

* 6 bartenders from the UK

* 2 from Vancouver

* 6 from the East Coast of the States

* 6 from the West Coast of the States

* 6 from Australia

* 6 from New Zealand

Those chosen in the overall squad are bartenders from some of the most renowned cocktail bars in the world. The current shortlist of bars includes:

New York

Pangea, Nocturne, Nine and a Half, Bowery Bar, 203 Spring, Elles, Fashion 40, Park, Wye Bar

LA Bliss, Fat Fish, Garden of Eden, The Abbey, Here Lounge, Bar Fly, The Belmont, KOI Restaurant, Century Club, Garden of Eden, Pierce Street Annex, Ivar, Lolas

San Francisco Bambudda, Suite 181, Ruby Skye, Fluid, Dragon Bar, Loft 11

Chicago Le Bar, Naha

London Lounge Lover, Milk & Honey, Mju, Zuma, the Ritz (to name a few)

The Cocktail World Cup will take place on the mountain at Coronet Peak, no matter what the weather conditions. At the top there will be a marquee with seating, DJ's, heaters, food and the most spectacular view out to an ice bar, perched on the side of the cliff. Every team will have to go out to the ice bar to perform. They will have ten minutes each, to make one cocktail to a music track of their choice.

Confirmed judges are Nathan Haines (New Zealand musician), Pat Nourse (Australian Gourmet Traveller), Geoff Ross (42 BELOW chief vodka bloke), Paul Wootton (UK CLASS magazine) and Jacob Briars (42 Below's vodka professor). We have invited Paul Paccult (Wine Enthusiast writer and spirits expert) from the US to come down and we are looking for one other. We have invited Sam Neil and Lucy Lawless. Lucy would be our preference.

All teams will be judged on originality of ingredients, uniqueness, flavour, taste and performance. All teams will be filmed.

About Brad Stanton

Brad Stanton's first taste of bartending was at Ottawa's hottest nightclub; he quickly learned the ins and outs of bartending and developed a flair for mixing drinks with speed and style.

Later, at the popular Empire Grill in the heart of Byward Market, drawing single-malt scotches for the capital's political elite and shaking up mouth-watering martinis to refresh the one hundred seat patio, Brad earned a reputation for delivering personable, professional service and for creating provocative cocktail recipes.

Moving out to Vancouver in the fall of 2003, Brad was soon drawn to Blue Water Cafe. He is at home in the dynamic environment and salutes the kitchen's ethos to use only the finest and freshest ingredients. He follows suit behind the bar with his diverse and "food friendly" cocktail menu; he squeezes his own citrus juices and takes care to select the freshest and best garnishes, berries and herbs for his mis en place.

One of his latest concoctions, the Crouching Tiger martini, is made with fresh ginger, premium sake, organic gin and ginger beer; garnished with a slim cucumber stirring stick. It provides the perfect accompaniment to popular bar plates such as the oysters and sushi selections. As the seasons and menus change, Brad is poised to explore more food and drink combinations, to experiment with new ingredients and different brands, and to lead the way for the adventurous and cocktail curious.

About Jay David Jones

Jay grew up with a father who is a true food and wine lover and this laid the foundation for Jay's early appreciation of things that taste great. Early memories from his childhood include those of his father buying wine from Napa and a visit to the famed French Laundry. After high school he attended Art College in Seattle.

In 1999 Jay decided to move to Whistler, falling in love with the ski-town after spending time there in the summer visiting friends. Although he applied for several positions - at this time, he really had his heart set on working at Araxi - Whistler's premier fine dining restaurant. A thorough interview later and Jay found himself bartending behind the finest wood in town. Now he truly began to embrace food and wine at a world-class level. Aiding with Araxi's award winning wine inventory sparked his enthusiasm for wine.

A year later he took the opportunity to open West in Vancouver for the same owner. A smaller dining room with a stellar chef recently returned from Europe promised to be something different and Jay wanted to be a part of it. He joined the Dubrulle Culinary Institute to take an advanced course in wine and spirits, and was soon offered the reigns to the wine list and is now proud to be the director of one of the finest wine lists in the city.

Since opening West has won three awards from the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival and most recently the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Jay has also been recognised for his abilities with mixology and service.

Last year he was awarded the PR Canada 'Classic Bartender Award' chosen from the best bartenders in the city and in the 2002 Vancouver Restaurant Awards, Jay was selected as one of the 'Premier Crew', honoured for being the top five hospitality service professionals in Vancouver.

ENDS

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