The Switch Names a Winner and New Cocktails Heat Up the Holidays

Bacardi’s Legacy of the Cocktail Competition kicks off Sunday, Nov. 6. Twenty-five of New York’s top bartenders and mixologists will showcase their skills with the shaker in order to be a part of the Bacardi Legacy and compete at an international competition. This year’s judges are King Cocktail himself Dale DeGroff and Bacardi Brand Master Juan Coronado.

Bacardi Legacy

Charles JolyLast week, the Auchentoshan Switch competition took place in Las Vegas and named Charles Joly from The Drawing Room in Chicago as the U.S. winner; Martin Ball from Corridor Bar in Manchester, England, won the international competition. As winners, these gentlemen will switch countries and jobs for two weeks in early 2012. Joly will travel across the pond to work with Tony Conigliaro at his famed 69 Colebrooke Row bar and Drinks Factory; Ball will spend his time in the Big Apple working at one of the hottest bars in the city, though the name has yet to be revealed. To enter the Auchentoshan Switch challenge, bartenders had to submit a video of themselves making a lemonade and an Old Fashioned cocktail using the Auchentoshan Three Wood. Joly’s video is at the link here.

The Catbird Seat, led by star chefs Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson, as well as Benjamin and Max Goldberg of Strategic Hospitality, is all about theater. In fact, its tasting room of 36 seats surrounds a full showpiece kitchen that allows the chefs to interact with guests throughout the meal. Beverage pairings also will be featured with Beverage Director Jane Lopes choosing cocktails that are both unexpected and playful. With fare inspired by traditional Nashville themes, The Catbird Seat’s dinner theater atmosphere attemps to make each course and drink personal.

The holiday season is upon us and at Texas de Brazil in Chicago, two festive cocktails have been added to the drinks menu that will be available throughout the month of December. The drinks: The Candy Cane Martini (vanilla vodka, peppermint schnapps, club soda and crushed candy cane for garnish) and Holiday Wishes (Van Gogh Vodka Pomegranate, peach schnapps, orange juice, lemon juice and ground cinnamon for garnish) capture the holiday spirit with their festive combinations.

TownhouseTownhouse in Venice, Calif., revamped its cocktail menu, debuting the new quaffable drinks on Oct. 11. Brandon Ristaino, formerly of the Bigfoot Lodge West and Thirsty Crow 1933 Group, is now the general manager and beverage director and hopes to add new life to the beverage program. Throughout the year, four seasonal cocktail menus will be released exclusively in The Del Monte Speakeasy, the secret bar in Townhouse’s basement, and will feature locally sourced produce and re-imagined pre-Prohibition era drinks.

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