Atlanta bartender crowned regional champ in Bombay Sapphire bartending competition

Trip Sandifer of The Painted Pin in Buckhead mixes his winning cocktail, Still Life on Mars, at the Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender Regional Competition in New Orleans. Photo: United States Bartenders' Guild.

Trip Sandifer, beverage manager at The Painted Pin in Buckhead , has brought bragging rights home to Atlanta. On Monday, June 20, Sandifer won Bombay Sapphire’s Most Imaginative Bartender southern regional competition held in New Orleans.

Sandifer beat out some of the South’s top bartenders with his cocktail, Still Life on Mars, an homage to David Bowie’s out-of-this-world character Ziggy Stardust and song “Life on Mars.” His drink was comprised of Bombay Sapphire gin, Rainwater Madeira, caramelized lime cordial, Benedictine and Bittercube orange bitters. Sandifer then presented his tipple in a beaker reminiscent of the Mercury capsule that carried the first Americans into space.

Drinks were judged on appearance, aroma, imagination and taste. “This competition inspires you to think about the entire experience of the cocktail: the tactile four-dimensional essence of imbibing,” Sandifer said of creating his winning concoction. “To be with the best bartenders in the country, judged by both your peers and mentors, and to be deemed the best in the show of those whom you regard as incredible is an extremely unparalleled experience.”

Sandifer will head to London’s Laverstoke Distillery (home of Bombay Sapphire) in August to compete against nine other bartenders from the United States and Canada for the chance to be crowned North America’s most creative cocktail slinger. The grand prize includes a trip to Tuscany where the winner will be educated in Bombay Sapphire’s botanicals and featured in a special-edition cover of GQ Magazine for its Men of the Year issue.

Ned Duggan, vice president and managing director for Bombay Sapphire, said of Sandifer’s cocktail, “It’s an honor to be a part of such an instrumental competition that continues to grow and provide a platform for emerging talent across the country. Sandifer’s ‘Still Life on Mars’ is true innovation and I look forward to seeing what he comes up with in London.”

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About the Author

Ligaya Figueras
Ligaya Figueras
Ligaya Figueras joined the AJC as its food and dining editor in 2015.