Spirits: Todd Thrasher, cocktail champion
To his long list of cocktail accolades, Todd Thrasher can now add a new one: World Champion. Last week, Thrasher — along with Team USA mates Sean Hoard from PDT in New York and Mark Stoddard from Happy in Boulder, Colo. — took first place at the 42Below Vodka Cocktail World Cup in New Zealand.
Twenty-four bartenders on eight teams from around the world squared off in a five-part competition over several days. Team France came in second, while the home team of New Zealand came in third.
Of course, as with most bartending contests, the challenges revolved around using the sponsor’s liquor as the base spirit, in this case 42Below Vodka. When I spoke with Thrasher at home this week, he joked: “The main challenge was: How well can you hide vodka in anything? Which is quite easy, actually.”
The winning drink was Thrasher’s concoction of vodka, Cynar, a lime-thyme syrup and homemade apple bitters, which bore the unwieldy name of I Have Too Much Thyme on My Hands Right Now at This Point in My Life.
“That’s my new thing, drink with long names,” Thrasher said, adding with a sadistic chuckle: “I like listening to the waiters have to say the whole name to the guests. It gives me a laugh. It’s like I’m getting back at them.”
Of course, in typically low-key fashion, Thrasher mainly wanted to talk about the non-cocktail activities: the jet-boating, the bungee jumping, and other extreme sports that he took part in. “At the end of the day, it was a free trip to New Zealand,” he said. “Which was pretty great.”
-- Jason Wilson
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