Nathan Gerdes has all the luck... or bartending chops. Or both? After winning 42 Below's Cocktail World Cup Portland semifinals last month and a chance to compete in Miami, you'd think the guy would still be jetlagged.

Apparently not, as Monday night's GQ and Bombay Sapphire-sponsored USBG Bartenders Summit at Saucebox—a crowded, drunken affair (does no one in this town work weekdays?!) that saw Byron Beck and Oregon Bar Guild officers as cocktail judges—won Gerdes (of Kask) another free trip out of Dodge... this time, to represent Portland at the national competition in Las Vegas.

A total of ten Oregon bartenders competed for that ticket : Adam Ho of Luc Lac won People's Choice (with a drink with spicy whipped cream—incredibly delightful) while the overall winning cocktail boasted the sponsor's gin, fresh lime, and sapphire syrup, (containing all 10 botanicals used in Bombay Sapphire) topped with soda water, tarragon, and cilantro. I didn't taste a bad cocktail in the room—although the next morning I cursed the very existence of gin.

Nathan Gerdes - winning under a mildly awkward backdrop.
  • Clare Gordon
  • Nathan Gerdes - winning under a mildly awkward backdrop.