Tuesday, November 19, 2013

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San Diego Bartender Challenge

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages: be advised that tonight and tonight only, a cohort of San Diego bartenders are going mano a mano in the fourth annual Bartender Challenge.

Held each year at El Dorado cocktail lounge, the challenge pits bartenders making drinks against each other in elimination bouts until only one remains, a champion bestowed with $200 in walking around money, the coveted Otis Buffalo Memorial Trophy, and a bottle of Buffalo Trace bourbon.

The twist? Each round a new secret ingredient, Iron Chef style, is introduced to the mix. Bartenders mix a drink on the fly using the secret ingredient and an arsenal of bitters, modifiers, juices, garnishes, and whatnot in four minutes.

Come on down; the Bartender Challenge is always a fun time and a chance to meet up with staff from some of the city's great watering holes in one place. I'll be there, taking a rare weeknight break from a handful of book projects while projecting the mien of a sober and stoic judge.

For the first few rounds, anyway. Judging cocktails is thirsty work.

2013 Competing Bartenders:

Sarah Ellis — Jayne's Gastropub
Ryan Kuntz — El Dorado
Leigh Lacap — Craft & Commerce
Eric Johnson — Sycamore Den
Hass Mahmood — Lion's Share
Anthony Schmidt — Noble Experiement (2 Time Champ)
Christian Siglin — Banker's Hill Bar & Restaurant (Defending Champ)
Christy Spinella — Polite Provisions

And the judges:

Trevor Easter — West Coast Brand Ambassador for Beefeater/Plymouth Gins
Lindsay Nader — Brand Ambassador for Absolut Spirits
Brooke Arthur — Brand Ambassador for House Spirits Distillery
Levi Walker — Craft spirits manager at Young’s Market Company
Matthew Rowley — Oh, hey, that’s me. Historian and author.


Fourth Annual Bartender Challenge
7pm Tuesday, November 19th 2013
El Dorado Cocktail Lounge
1030 Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101

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