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| Booze |

Team USA's winning recipe from the 42 Below Cocktail World Cup

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As we reported yesterday, Mark Stoddard, the chief mixologist of Happy in Boulder and its lounge counterpart, Bitter Bar, along with team cohorts Todd Thrasher of Washington, D.C., and Sean Hoard of New York City, took home gold in last week's 42 Below Cocktail World Cup in New Zealand.

"Man, was it an amazing trip," said Stoddard when I got him on the phone earlier today. "Between making cocktails in a high-speed jet boat, having breakfast in a helicopter with the cocktail judges, riding in limos and winning gold, this is something I'll never forget."

The cocktail that catapulted Team USA to stardom? It's called Thymeless, and according to Stoddard, it was all about team collaboration. "We wanted to bring in the classic mixology aspects, along with a culinary aspect and a modern molecular aspect to our final cocktail, and everyone on the USA team brought everything they had to the table," Stoddard told me. "We all took this competition very, very seriously and we went into it expecting to win every challenge, but we also knew that it would all come down to the final, and luckily, we were ready."

While Stoddard isn't planning to add the Thymeless to his cocktail line-up at Bitter Bar -- "It's too labor intensive," he says -- he promises to create something similar. While he's thinking about how to do that, the recipe for the winning cocktail is below.

Thymeless

1 oz 42BELOW vodka ½ oz Cynar artichoke aperitif 1 1/2 oz lime thyme syrup Liberal dash of housemade apple bitters Compressed New Zealand apple thyme balls to garnish

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