Q&A: The Cypress Room's Cricket Nelson

August 14, 2013 | by Liana Lozada | Food & Drink News

Cricket Nelson   
Cricket Nelson won Bombay Sapphire's "Most Imaginative Bartender All-Stars" competition.  

The Cypress Room’s Cricket Nelson made history at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail as the first woman to win Bombay Sapphire’s “Most Imaginative Bartender All-Stars” competition. The Miami resident’s interactive “Love Game” concoction features Bombay Sapphire East, Earl Grey tea, lemon juice, citrus bitters, Thai basil, roses, rose water, and lemon oil. Served in fine china and made for two, guests can adjust their pours with complementing lemon slices and rosebud syrup. We caught up with Nelson to about her victory and the celebrated libation.

How does it feel to be the first woman to win Bombay’s competition?
CRICKET NELSON: Amazing! While there are many women in the business, it is still very male-dominated. I love gin; I think the flavor profiles lend themselves well to feminine expression, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to represent this.

What inspired “Love Game?”
CN: When I lived in Boston, my friends and I used to go to a restaurant in Chinatown after the clubs closed. They offered “cold tea,” which was cold beer served in a stainless steel teapot. It was not on the menu, you had to be “in the know.” I always loved the secretive, speakeasy nature of this, and thought it would be great to offer a cocktail served in a similar fashion.

How has mixology evolved over time?
CN: Bartending is no longer something done while “figuring out what to be when you grow up.” It’s a profession, a lifestyle choice. There is greater respect and value for [it]; this creates an environment that encourages growth, education, creative expression, and achievement.

Favorite ingredients and why?
CN: Fresh. Local. Organic. I grew up on a farm. Growing and preparing food were an important part of my childhood, and this is definitely reflected in my craft.

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