Bartender's Creativity Extends Beyond Cocktails and Winners Announced from Don Q and Marie Brizard

Art Beyond the Glass:

Did you know your favorite LA bartender's creativity extends far beyond their cocktail recipes? As it turns out, not only does the Los Angeles Cocktail Community boast some of the best bartenders in the country, many of them happen to be fine artists and compelling live performers, such as Tasting Kitchen’s Justin Pike (live chalk artist), Areal’s Mia Sarazen (photographer), Roe Restaurant & Fish Market’s Erik Trickett (musician), and Joshua Lucas of the Writer’s Room (magician), just to name a few.  These and thirty other top LA bartenders will come together on Sunday, June 17th for the first time for Art Beyond the Glass, a fundraiser that features a variety of art, music, DJs, live performances and cocktails for a cause at Sadie in Hollywood from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm to benefit Inner-City Arts.



And the winner of the Marie Brizard USA Cocktail Challenge NYC Semifinal is…

James Menite of Crown Restaurant, with his winning cocktail, “Made!” James received a complimentary trip to Tales of the Cocktail where he will be competing against top mixologists and bartenders from across the country.  All participants will prepare their original Marie Brizard cocktail to be sampled and judged by an expert panel for a chance to participate at the annual Marie Brizard International Bartender Seminar and Competition in Bordeaux, France. The Runner-Up was Aaron Butler of Experimental Cocktail Club LES with his cocktail, “Letter of Marque.” Third place went to Gabriel Zahriyeh of The Empire Hotel with her cocktail, “Rug Bum.” The Marie Brizard USA Cocktail Challenge NYC Semifinal consisted of 11 contestants judged on technique, appearance, aroma and taste battling for the coveted spot in the U.S. Finals taking place this July in New Orleans.


From LA Cocktail Classic

Taking its cues from the similarly named event in Manhattan, the first-ever LA Cocktail Classic -- courtesy of the guy behind the LA Beerfest -- is a celebration of all things boozy where you'll put on your fancy jeans (sorry, trusty Bugle Boys) and enjoy an open bar with 100++ high-end liquor companies pouring their wares in the Vibiana Cathedral, a historical building likely as damaged in the Northridge Quake as you'll be when you leave this thing. To check out more on the first LA Cocktail Classic, click here.


Dev Johnson Wins First Prize

Don Q, Puerto Rico’s premium rum, proudly announced the winners of the 2012 Ultimate Mix Off Finals, a mixology competition supported by the United States Bartenders Guild (USBG). Mixologists from across the country competed in the Ultimate Mix Off Finals at the Andaz Hotel on Saturday, May 12th. The top five finalists received a trip to Puerto Rico, VIP tour of Destilería Serrallés in Ponce and will be featured in Don Q’s holiday mixology video.

Dev Johnson from Employees Only in New York took first place with his winning cocktail: “The Jones Act”
Julio Cabrera from Miami took second place with: “Sandia del Batey”
J.R. Starkus from Las Vegas took third with: “Lonely Planet”
Sheridan Fay from Houston took fourth with: “Coqui Monster”
Nicole Tyler from Reno placed fifth with: “Rico Suave”

Winner Dev Johnson with the Tast Judges at the 2012 Ultimate Mix Off.


From Times Colonist: Victoria Bartender and Clive's Bar Nominated for International Honours

It's been cool since it opened — a slight undersea theme married to loungey comfort, teal and dim lighting accents and great cocktails — but recently the rest of the world has started to take notice of Clive's Classic Lounge in the Chateau Victoria Hotel. For the second year in a row, Clive's, named after hotel owner Clive Piercy, has been recognized as one of the top 10 hotel bars in the world. And this year, head bartender Shawn Soole has been named as one of the 10 finalists for International Bartender of the Year by Tales of the Cocktail, billed as the world's premier cocktail festival. According to Soole, the fact the bar has been singled out again is testament to a commitment to quality that started when it was first opened just off the hotel lobby in January 2009. But his own inclusion on a list of the world's best caught him off guard. For more on Soole’s reaction, click here.


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