So-Cal Bartenders Battle It Out in Long Beach
A couple of weeks ago, some of the most talented bartenders from the hottest spots in “the LB” gathered at hipster hangout, Sachi, to compete for honor and cocktail glory. (Ok, a signed bottle of Hennessy Richard and a trip to Mexico were also at stake.)
The contestants were judged on speed, quality, personality, and recipe creativity. Everyone was in a festive mood, and being a local competition, most of the bartenders already knew and respected each other, which set a friendly (though still competitive) vibe.
Let’s just say that they were already off to a good start given that they were required to use these luxury brands: Chopin, Navan, 10 Cane, Belvedere, and Grand Marnier with the focus on Hennessy. (Aw, poor babies.)
The dj set the party mood with dance tunes while onlookers and judges slowly filled the space. And, like a scene from the show based in neighboring "OC" these guys and girls came dressed to impress.
The back patio even features a stripper pole in one corner for uninhibited ladies (or gentlemen) looking to really leave a lasting impression...
Finally, around 10:00 pm, it was on! Bottles, cheers, jeers and applauds erupted around the bar. Drinks were dispersed, and notes were taken. Cocktails were sipped, measured, enjoyed and put up for scrutiny.
By the end of the evening, it was determined that Juan Alvarez, President of the Southern California Chapter of the United Stated Bartenders Guild, and owner and mixologist of King Neptune’s had created the drink of choice. No stranger to cocktail competitions, Juan already has a few victories under his bartending belt, and has several more competitions lined up, including one in Taiwan, later this year!
Here’s his winning cocktail. (Whomever says victory isn’t delicious is a drunken, lying fool!)
The Passion Flower
1 part Hennessy VSOP
1 part Belvedere Pomarancza
1 part orange juice
1 part pineapple juice
a splash of blueberry Monin syrup
Shake, strain and serve.