Couch Time Cocktails - World Class Bartending on TV!

David Rios (fore) with Jeff Bell at DIAGEO HQ in NYC for World Class Happy Hour
David Rios (fore) with Jeff Bell at DIAGEO HQ in NYC for World Class Happy Hour

Last June, we reported on the 2013 United States Bartenders’ Guild and DIAGEO World Class U.S. Bartender Competition that took place in New York City, declaring local man Jeff Bell as the US Bartender of the Year finalist. Bell then went on to compete against all the international finalists during a Mediterranean cruise, when Spain's David Rios took the title of World's Best Bartender.

This heated competition held so much tension and character, that it was worthy of its own TV documentary! Luckily the folks at the Travel Channel caught most of it on camera, and the rest of us will have the opportunity to relive the booze cruise with the competitors when World's Best Bartender premiers this coming Monday evening, November 18,  at 11PM EST.

Since most of us can hardly sit through an episode of Mad Men without a proper drink, below are some of the winning cocktails to make at home to sip along with the action. What? You were only going to watch this with a bowl of popcorn?

David Rios prepares Music es Vida
David Rios prepares Music es Vida

Musica es VidaCreated by Diageo World Class Global Winner David Rios

  • 1 1/2 ounces Cîroc Vodka
  • 1/3 ounce Tangerine Liqueur
  • 1/3 ounce Simple Sugar
  • 1/4 ounce Fresh Pineapple Juice
  • 2 dashes Blue Curacao Liqueur
  • 1 dash Lime Bitters
  • Lime peel for garnish

Combine Cîroc Vodka, tangerine liqueur, simple sugar, fresh pineapple juice and blue curacao liqueur and lime bitters into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously until well-chilled. Strain contents into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with lime peel.

Wild Strawberries Film
Wild Strawberries Film

Wild Strawberries FilmCreated by Diageo World Class Global Winner David Rios

  • 1 1/4 ounces Ketel One Vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Italian Apéritif (we suggest Cocchi Americano Blanc)
  • 3 - 4 Fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 ounce Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • 1/3 ounce Simple syrup
  • Egg white
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters
  • Lemon zest spritz
  • Garnish: strawberries and mint sprig

Muddle fresh strawberries in simple syrup in mixing glass. Add Ketel One Vodka, Italian apéritif, fresh grapefruit juice, egg white, orange bitters and ice. Shake vigorously until well-chilled. Double strain contents into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a sliced strawberry, lemon zest spritz and mint leaf.

Jeff Bell Pours a Lion's Den
Jeff Bell Pours a Lion's Den

Lion’s DenCreated by USBG & Diageo World Class U.S. Bartender of the Year Jeff Bell

  • 3/4 ounce Tequila Don Julio Reposado
  • 3/4 ounce Yellow Herbal Liqueur (we suggest Strega)
  • 3/4 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/4 ounce Agave Syrup
  • 1/2 Medium Shishito Pepper
  • Garnish: Japanese seasoning mix and Kosher salt rim

Rim coupe glass with Japanese seasoning and Kosher salt. Muddle pepper with agave syrup in mixing glass. Add Tequila Don Julio Reposado, yellow herbal liqueur, fresh lime juice and ice and shake vigorously until well-chilled. Double strain contents into rimmed chilled cocktail coupe.

Morning Fizz
Morning Fizz

Morning FizzCreated by USBG & Diageo World Class U.S. Bartender of the Year Jeff Bell

  • 1 ounce Tanqueray® No. TEN™ Gin
  • 1/2 ounce Almond Milk
  • 1/3 ounce Simple Syrup
  • 1/4 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 Egg White
  • 2 drops Rosewater
  • Club Soda

Combine Tanqueray® No. TEN™, almond milk, simple syrup, fresh lemon, juice, fresh lime juice, an egg white and rose water into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously until emulsified and well-chilled. Double strain into a chilled rocks glass. Top with club Soda.