Tampa Area Bartenders Prepare for Infinium Spirits Cocktail Challenge
Judges Named! Janus LIVE hosts Bartender Challenge in St. Pete-Cash and Trip to ‘Tales of the Cocktail’ Up for Grabs
The Second Annual Infinium Spirits Bartender Challenge includes over a dozen representatives from Tampa, Saint Petersburg, Clearwater, Sarasota and Bradenton restaurants and bars and the battle takes place this Monday April 23.
Call them Mixologists, Cocktail Designers or Liquid Chefs but be assured that all are members of a fraternity of working Bartenders with varied approaches to their craft. Creativity will reign as they vie for bragging rights and the chance cash in for recipes and drinks in four categories with one overall winner earning a Grand Prize trip for two to New Orleans. Jannus LIVE the legendary live music venue in St. Petersburg Florida will host the event in their Crystal Head Lounge, named after the ‘Pure Spirit’ Vodka founded by Dan Aykroyd.
Representatives from the Left Coast Chapter of the United States Bartender Guild are entered as are several other independent bartenders that have designed, featured and will now make cocktails for three respected Beverage Industry Judges using Crystal Head Vodka, Zaya Rum, Casa Noble Tequila and more using one of the other great spirits from the prestigious Infinium Spirits portfolio.
The classic spirits that are part of the fourth category are Fernet Branca, Branca Menta, Borghetti Expresso, Borghetti Sambuca, Punt E Mes, Carpano Vermouth Antica Formula and from the United States, Bartenders can mix up a summer classic to win with either Seagrams Sweet Tea Vodka or Seagram’s Peach Tea Vodka.
Judging the event will be Todd McNulty, Tyson Grant, and Larry Genta and all three judges will grade the cocktails following contest guidelines in set categories that all include the cocktail’s taste, appearance, functionality for service.
Todd McNulty is a nationally and locally recognized mixologist and beverage consultant who has a history of running successful operations in Monteray California before relocating to St. Petersburg Florida. He has been named as the Beverage Director for the soon to be open Birchwood Inn in downtown St. Petersburg, an elegant property with a rooftop lounge that will feature magnificent views of Tampa Bay.
Tyson Grant is well known thoughout the United States as one of the Tampa Area’s most celebrated chefs. He has been cooking professionally for over 20 years but while cooking at the Grill at Feather Sound in Clearwater back in2001 , Tyson Grant was honored with the prestigious title of “Best Chef of Tampa Bay” . Currently he is a partner and the Executive Chef at Parkshore Grill as well as the Executive Chef overseeing partner Steve Westphal’s other properties 400 Beach Seafood & Taphouse and The Hangar Restaurant and Flight Lounge.
Larry ‘Smokey’ Genta returns for a second year as a judge for the Infinium Spirits Bartender Challenge. He currently is a working Bar and Restaurant Consultant at BarMecanics.com who also is the Managing Partner of several Beverage and Media outlets in the www.BeverageUnderground.com network. ‘Smokey’ has designed Beverage Programs for dozens of bars and restaurants, designed cocktails for various menus and brands and has created successful promotions for over 30 years. Based in Southwest Florida, he has worked at all three tiers of the Beverage Industry.
A total of $1000 cash will be divided in the three categories plus the Grand Prize will send the winning bartender and a guest to New Orleans for the 10th Anniversary of the Tales of the Cocktail to be held July 25-29, 2012.
Last year’s overall winner was USBG member Bob Wagner who is expected to defend the title as a representative for Ciro’s Speakeasy & Supper Club in Tampa. Also returning will be Dean Hurst of SideBerns, Tampa and Jason Flacker of Mandarin Hide in St. Petersburg.
But all are expected to be challenged from bartenders who will be coming from as far south as Sarasota this year and from the St Pete and Clearwater area as well. Cafe Ponte, Pane Rustica, The Distillery, The Mad Hatter, Jake’s Tavern, The Fly Bar, Jannus LIVE, and Charley’s Steakhouse are just some of the locations that will be sending staff to compete.
Beverage Underground will be on-location at the event and will cover the Infinium Spirits 2012 Bartender Challenge both on line and in video from the Crystal Head Lounge at Jannus LIVE!
If You Go…
WHAT: Infinium Spirits 2012 Bartender Challenge
WHEN: Monday April 23, 2012
TIME: 7-10 PM
WHERE: Jannus LIVE!
The Crystal Head Lounge
200 1st Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL
Short URL: http://www.beverageunderground.com/?p=31475