Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bartenders battle it out for charity

The best of Charlotte's bartenders came out from behind their bars Monday night to raise money for AIDS Walk Charlotte.

Alley Cat hosted Bar Wars 2009, a cocktail competition that pitted our area's master mixologists against each other in the categories of Best Martini, Shot, Three Olives Cocktail and Red Bull Cocktail.

I, along with five other judges (Brittney Cason of Creative Loafing, Joey Hewell of JStudio and Uptown Magazine, Steve Caldwell of Elevate Lifestyle, Breezekat from the Ace & TJ Show, and drag queen Roxy C. Moorecox), had the tastebud-testing job of rating dozens of drinks on a "Yuck-to-Awesome" scale. (and yes, the drinks that came later in the night seemed to skew higher on the judges' ballots -- coincidence?)

I've got to give a couple of the guys (where were the female bartenders this year? Only two competed) credit for their creativity: Zack from Philosopher's Stone made a spicy, curry-infused martini with shrimp as a garnish, and Lenny from Loft 1523 decorated his blue-hued "Duck in a Pond" with a bright yellow Peep.

The big winners for the night:
  • Bryan from Apostrophe for his Cantaloupe Martini.
  • Tim from Cosmos Cafe for his Cherry Tootsie Pop shot.
  • Zach from Philosopher's Stone for his Three Olives cocktail called -- ahem -- Sex on Your Face.
  • J.T. from Thomas Street Tavern for his Brasco Red Bull cocktail. (A fellow judge and I had a hard time deciding this one. Red Bull cocktails inevitably all taste like Red Bull.)
  • Suite's Todd Bayley blew the crowd (and the competition) away with his high-flying tricks in the flair competition.
  • And the staff at Forum deserves special recognition for raising the most money.
All told, Bar Wars 2009 raised more than $6,000 for AIDS Walk Charlotte. Want to participate in the two-mile walk through uptown's Fourth Ward? It's May 2. For more information, click here.

To see video from the competition, click here.


Anonymous said...

A fun night for a good cause.

Anonymous said...

common theme: bmg bartenders=fail