October 15, 2013

PAMA Asks: Are You Indispensable?

Welcome to our series of Liquor Snob posts in partnership with PAMA pomegranate liqueur. If you like this one, check out all of our PAMA-related stories.
There's not much time left to enter the PAMA "Are You Indispensable?" contest - a "cocktail competition for professional bartenders and mixologists, age 21+." The competition has been running since August, and you only have until October 31 to get your entry on the books.

The competition is meant to highlight PAMA's positioning as an "indispensable modifier" for cocktails of all kinds, no matter the base spirit, the occasion or the season. In PAMA's own words:

Bartenders and mixologists are invited to create a cocktail recipe using PAMA. Six finalists will be chosen to compete in New York City for a chance to win the $5,000 grand prize, second place prize of $2,000, or third place prize of $1,000. To enter your cocktail creation, visit www.shakestir.com/PAMA

Five thousand dollars is a lot of scratch to a lot of bartenders, so what would we be thinking about as we developed a new PAMA cocktail (if we were eligible)? We'll tell you below!

Get Familiar with PAMA
We've dedicated a lot of virtual ink to giving you ideas for how to use PAMA to modify cocktails, including our most recent post about the liqueur's versatility. The PAMA Pros website also has a lot of resources for you to use, outlining PAMA as a cocktail modifier and offering multiple cocktail recipes using the liqueur to get you started.

Some Important Steps for Cocktail Creation
Creating a cocktail to feature a specific ingredient can be more difficult than just using any old thing, even for a professional. There's a great blog post over at The Kitchn that helps make things a little bit easier to deal with. Here are a few of our favorite bits of advice for this context, for neophytes or those who just want a refresher:

  • First try to form a clear taste "picture" of your ingredients together in your mind, then tweak the recipe through hands-on trial and error. (Like cooking by feel, this skill comes with practice.)

  • Remember balance: Use equal parts of sweet and sour, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic components (where applicable).

  • Shake drinks containing juice or (non-carbonated) mixer. Stir drinks that are 100 percent alcohol.

  • Always use fresh juices, syrups, etc., NEVER pre-made mixes.

  • Don't forget small touches. A drop of bitters or a twist of lemon or lime rubbed around the edge of the glass and then dropped into the drink can make a world of difference.

That's the end of our advice - good luck in the competition, and we can't wait to see what cocktails everyone comes up with!

Follow @PAMAPros on Twitter!

AN UPDATE FROM PAMA: We would like to sincerely thank all of the bartenders and mixologists who submitted recipes to the first-ever "Are You Indispensable?" cocktail competition celebrating PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur. The competition clearly resonated with bartenders across the country and we are thrilled with the over overwhelming participation and the sheer enthusiasm displayed for PAMA.

As such, we want to make sure we take ample time to thoroughly review the record-breaking 242 recipes submitted via our competition partner, ShakeStir.com, and carefully select the well-deserving finalists. To ensure this, we plan to postpone the final competition in New York City until January 2014. Finalists will be announced on Monday, December 2, so stay tuned!

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a "sponsored post." The company who sponsored it compensated us via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will be good for our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." We'd also like to thank PAMA for sending us samples of their product to review.

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at October 15, 2013 6:47 AM
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