This Just In – 14th Annual Finlandia Vodka Cup Finalists Announced


Elite bartenders from around the world will compete in the 14th Annual International Finlandia Vodka Cup on February 1, 2012 in Helsinki, Finland for a chance to win up to a total of $25,000. This year’s competition will host 20 global bartenders– 19 will be chosen through online entries during qualifying competitions and the final bartender will be chosen by a consumer’s choice online voting. All 20 finalists will travel Finland as special guests of Finlandia for a chance to be crowned the champion.

“The Finlandia Vodka Cup is a celebration of all that is best about the creativity and skill of bartending. By bringing the winning bartenders to Finland we are also thanking bartenders everywhere for making Finlandia the success it is around the world,” says Neil Punwani, Senior Vice-President and Managing Director of Vodka at Brown-Forman. “This year we are excited to give our consumers the opportunity to vote for the bartenders and drinks they love through digital tools such as facebook. This year’s event truly connects the brand to our loyal consumers, brand ambassadors, and world-class bartenders as everyone gets a chance to participate.”

Finlandia was nice enough to provide us with a large sampling of the recipes from the finalists, (including ones fellow Marylanders Scott Fitzgerald and Michael Bulmash) check them out below!


BARTENDER: Jay Hudson, Denver, Co.pineapple juice with straw backlight close up

Col. Pepper’s Lonely Mango

  • 1.5 oz Finlandia Mango
  • 3/4 oz Southern Comfort Fiery Pepper
  • 3 dash Tabasco Sauce
  • 2 oz Mango Puree
  • 2 oz Club Soda

Pour 1 1/4 oz of Finlandia Mango, 3/4 oz of Southern Comfort Fiery Pepper into a mixing glass with ice. Add 3 dashes of Tabasco Sauce, and 2 oz of Mango Puree. Shake to Mix. Strain into glass over ice. Garnish with a jalapeno.

BARTENDER: Ken Kodys, Denver, Co.FinsOfFaith.jpg

Fins of Faith

  • 1.25 oz Finlandia Vodka
  • .25 oz Yellow Chartreuse
  • 2.5 oz Coconut Water
  • .5 oz Demerara Syrup (2-1)
  • 1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 2 dash Peychauds Bitters
  • 4 Peppadew Peppers
  • 5-8 Baby Arugula Leaves

Muddle 4 Baby Arugula Leaves and 3 Peppadew at the bottom of a mixing glass. Add Demerara, Finlandia, Chartreuse, Lime, Coconut water and Peychauds bitters. Add 3 cubes block ice and shake for 10 seconds Fill Finlandia highball with block ice and double fine strain contents to remove all solids. Garnish with Baby Arugula and Pickled Peppadew.

BARTENDER: Jake Bliven, Eugene, OR

Harvest MoonHarvestMoon.jpg

  • 1.5 oz Finlandia vodka
  • 1/2 oz Dry vermouth
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Spiced mead reduction (2:1 mead/ sugar simmered with 2 cloves, pinch of fresh ginger, cinnamon stick, 2 allspice berries and a star anise)
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash Bar code baked apple bitters
  • 1.5 oz dry Granny Smith fermented apple cider (I used Woodchuck cider from Vermont)
  • 3 figs baked on a low setting with crushed pecans

Prepare figs and allow them to cool. Once cool, muddle three baked figs with Finlandia vodka. Add dry vermouth, lemon juice, spiced mead reduction, and bitters. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a high ball glass filled with ice cubes. Top with Fermented apple cider, stir to mix in and garnish with a half sliced fig, lemon slice, “fanned” granny smith apple slice.FlorDEJamaica Cup.jpg

BARTENDER: Gary Gruber, Prospect, Ky.

Flor de Jamaica Cup

  • 1.75 oz Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Pama Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Monin Hibiscus Syrup
  • 0.5 oz Pom Juice
  • 1 Ruby red Grapefruit slice (No rind)
  • 6 Basil leaves

Build in shaker – Muddle Slice of ruby red grapefruit with (5) Basil leaves. Add Ice and remaining ingredients. Shake and double strain over glass filled with ice. Garnish with a freshly smacked basil leaf and red grapefruit zest.

BARTENDER: Tad Carducci, Hackettstown, NJGreen smoothie

The Screaming Greenie

  • 2 oz Finlandia Vodka
  • 1/2 oz French Absinthe
  • 1/2 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 1.75 oz Simple syrup
  • 8 fresh Italian basil leaves
  • 8 oz ice

Add all ingredients to the cup of a high-powered blender. Add one cup of ice and blend on high for 20 seconds Pour into highball or Collins glass. Lightly smack basil leaf to release aroma and garnish with basil leaf and lemon wheel.

BARTENDER: Bridget Cheslock, San Diego, CAElderflower Creamsicle.jpg

Elderflower Creamsicle

  • 1.5 oz Finlandia Tangerine Vodka
  • 3 drops St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 2 oz Freshly Squeezed Clementine Juice
  • 3 oz Polar Vanilla Sparkling Water
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters

Add ice to a shaker. Pour Finlandia Vodka, St. Germain and Clemetine Juice into shaker. Cover and shake for 8 seconds.  Pour shaker ingredients into a highball glass with ice. Pour Polar Vanilla Sparkling Water into highball glass. Add a dash of Angostura Bitters. Finish with a garnish of a Clementine twist.

BARTENDER: Raul Faria, Las Vegas, NVFinlandia 102

The Spice Trade

  • 1.25 oz Finlandia vodka
  • .75 oz Barenjager honey liqueur
  • 4 oz Fresh squeezed nectarine juice
  • .25 oz Fresh lime juice
  • .75 oz Fresh vanilla bean simple syrup
  • 1 dash Saffron (6-8 strands)
  • 6 Mint leaves

In a mixing glass add mint, saffron, fresh lime juice and vanilla syrup then muddle contents. After muddling add fresh nectarine juice, Finlandia vodka and honey liqueur to glass. Shake vigorously. Pour over highball glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig and nectarine twist.

BARTENDER: Mike Henderson, Denver, Co.BeetDown#2.jpg

Beet Down #2

  • 1.5 oz Finlandia Tangerine
  • 1 oz Aperol
  • .75 oz Yuzu Juice
  • .5 oz Ginger Syrup*
  • .25 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • 1 oz Marinated Beet Cubes
  • 1 other Large Sprig of Mint

In a mixing glass or tin combine and muddle beet cubes, yuzu juice, grapefruit juice, and ginger syrup. Add Finlandia Tangerine, Aperol, and mint. Add ice and Shake vigorously for about 10 seconds.Double fine strain into a Collins Glass filled with 3 cubes of Kold Draft or Block ice. Garnish with a large sprig of mint and 3 beet cubes skewered on a cocktail pick. Finish with a stainless steel spoon straw.

*For Ginger Syrup combine 2 cups coarsely chopped ginger, 2 cups s


ugar, and 1.5 cups water. Simmer over heat for 1 hour, bottle, and let cool.

BARTENDER: Todd Thrasher, Alexandria, VA

Nothing Left to Lose

  • 1 oz Finlandia Vodka
  • 1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
  • 3 oz Bay Leaf Soda with Roasted Lemon
  • 4 dash Lemon Bitters

Fill a glass with crushed ice.  Add Vodka and Chartreuse. Add Bitters and Soda. Stir gently.


Strawberry Kissel Explosion

  • 1.5 oz Finlandia Vodka
  • 1 oz Amaretto
  • 1.5 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Orange Juice
  • 1.5 oz Simple Syrup
  • 2 dash Rhubarb Bitters
  • 1000 ml Water
  • 5 grams Sodium Alginate
  • 150 ml Strawberry Juice
  • 50 ml Tuaca
  • 50 ml Honey Syrup (2:1, Honey:Water)
  • 6 grams Calcium Lactate Gluconate

In a shaker combine Finlandia Vodka, Amaretto, Lemon juice, Orange Juice, Simple Syrup and Rhubarb bitters shake well. Strain into a Champagne flute rimmed with toasted almond sugar. Add in 10 Strawberry Pearls (For the strawberry pearls: prepare an Alginate bath by combining Sodium Alginate and Water.)

In a separate bowl mix Strawberry juice, Tuaca, Honey syrup and Calcium gluconolactate and mix with an immersion blender. Let solution sit for 12 hours

Using a syringe drop the strawberry solution into the alginate bath. A membrane will form around the juice after moments. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pearls and rinse in water. Garnish with a Strawberry.

BARTENDER: Scott Fitzgerald, Odenton, MDLookBetterNaked.jpg

Look Better Naked

  • 1.5 oz Finlandia Cranberry
  • 1 Packet of Low Cal Sweetener
  • 1/2 Squeeze Fresh Lemon
  • Soda Water

Fill Glass 1/3 with ice, top with lemon wheel. Repeat 2 more times for “layered” look. In a separate glass, combine Finlandia, sweetener, and fresh lemon juice. Gently shake. Put straw through the center of the lemon wheels to hold them in place, Pour ingredients over ice and lemon wheels. Top off with Soda Water.

 BARTENDER: Michael Bulmash, Baltimore, MDSinlandia.jpg


  • 1.50 oz Finlandia Raspberry
  • 1. oz Malbec
  • 1. oz Blackberry Brandy
  • 1 dash Triple Sec
  • .50 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
  • .50 oz Soda Water
  • Mixture of fresh fruits

Combine Finlandia Raspberry Vodka with Malbec, Triple Sec, Blackberry Brandy, and Passion Fruit Syrup. Add mixed variety of fruits & muddle. Shake well over Ice. Pour into glass & top with soda water.

BARTENDER: Christine Misiura, Orlando, FLMixedBerryFizz.jpg

Mixed Berry Fizz

  • 1 oz Finlandia Raspberry Vodka
  • 1 oz Finlandia Black Currant Vodka
  • 1 oz Creme de Mure (blackberry liqueur)
  • 4 other fresh blackberries
  • 3 other fresh raspberries
  • 4 other lemon wedges
  • .75 oz Monin Pure Cane Syrup
  • 5 oz Sprite

Muddle blackberries, raspberries and lemon wedges. Add ice to mixing glass. Add Finlandia Vodkas, simple syrup and creme de mure. Shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice into glass (20 oz high ball). Top with Sprite and lightly stir. Garnish with lemon/berry pinwheel.

BARTENDER: Jason Beatty, Indianapolis, INPeach Treaty.jpg

Peach Treaty

  • 4.5 cl Finlandia Classic
  • 9 cl Rooibos Tea with Berries
  • 9 cl Peach Juice
  • 2 cl Orange Blossom Honey with Water
  • 1.5 cl Lemon Juice
  • 3 Ice Spheres with Violets Frozen Within

Add ice spheres into glass. Add ingredients into mixing glass with separate ice and shake vigorously. Strain ingredients over ice spheres into glass. Garnish with lemon wheel.

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About Gregory Priebe

Time Lord Bartender: Two livers, sonic corkscrew, liquor cabinet "bigger on the inside".