2012 Nightclub & Bar Media Group's Bartender of the Year, Russell Davis, continues to make waves on the West Coast after moving to San Francisco two years ago.
Russell received this esteemed honor this year after having been a finalist for the same award in 2010 and 2011.
While developing and running the bar program as Bar Manager at Peche in Austin, Texas, and acting as President of the Austin Chapter of the United States Bartender's Guild (USBG), Russell, a BarSmarts Advanced Certified bartender, was recruited for bar positions at Bourbon & Branch and Rickhouse in San Francisco. Before making the move, Russell created his own bar/spirits/cocktail consulting company and had just released a series of videos online with Tito, of Tito's Vodka, on making homemade infusions, as well as taking the People's Choice Award at the 2010 Texas Hill Country Wine Festival's Grape Escape Cocktail Competition sponsored by Maker's Mark.
Since moving to California, Russell continues to turn heads with his work behind the bar: representing Rickhouse in 2010 at Gran Marnier's Bar Room Brawl in New Orleans, winning 1st place at the 2010 Germain-Robin/Craft Distiller's Cocktail Competition in San Francisco, taking 2nd place (and top human bartender honors) at Lush Life Production's Humans versus Robots Bartender Competition during the 2011 Portland Cocktail Week, and sweeping up the People's Choice Award for San Francisco Magazine's Eco Cocktail Competition during the 2011 SF Bay Fall Fest. Russell also represented Rickhouse at Tales of the Cocktail (TOTC) this year when the bar was awarded High Volume Cocktail Bar of the Year.
Russell has and continues to work with many different portfolios and brands, including Anchor Distilling (Old Potrero, Junipero, Genevieve, Luxardo, Chinaco, Maurin Quina, etc), helping with the launch of Dulce Vida Organic Tequila, creating a signature cocktail for the 2010 release of Michael Collins 10 year Single Malt Irish Whiskey, presenting two new signature drinks at the 2011 TOTC opening day's Market Fresh Event for No. 3 Gin and the King's Ginger, and is just finished his collaboration on a project with St. George Spirits called the Manhattan Project, which introduces an entirely new technique on barrel aging.
Russell has done numerous guest bartending appearances in countless bars and productions including the 102.9 MIX morning radio show in Dallas, an appearance with Dan Aykroyd representing Crystal Head Vodka for Twin Liquors in Austin, as a judge for the 2010 San Antonio Bombay Sapphire/GQ Most Inspired Bartender competition, as the premiered mixologist for the opening of the Picasso exhibit at the Deyoung Museum in San Francisco, as a judge for the San Francisco School of Bartender's 2010 Fusion Cocktail Competition, various events with the collaborators of Cocktail Lab in San Francisco (including Science of the Cocktail and Shaker & Flask), and as featured bartender for the Opening Gala and Legend's Awards After Party (representing Liquor.com) for the 2011 San Francisco Cocktail Week.