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Friday, July 19, 2013

Baton Rouge's Best Bartender Competition

Bulleit Proof by George Kraus - photo credit to NOLA.com's Chelsea Brasted
You still have two days to experience Restaurant Week Baton Rouge! Make sure you get out and eat. And also let me know the best deals or favorite dishes you've found all week! Feel free to send me a tweet @biteandbooze, post it on my Facebook page, or just comment on this blog post!

In addition to the RW festivities, last week DIG and Barmetrix presented the Best Bartender of Restaurant Week contest. The top nominated restaurants went through internal competitions to highlight the best bartender to represent their establishment. Barmetrix judged contestants on the hard skills of bartending while myself and some representatives from Diagio and Dig rounded out the vote for the creative use of sponsor brands. The event, held at the Renaissance Hotel, proved that these competitions can be extremely successful in Baton Rouge. The crowd came ready to enjoy themselves and the competition. Launch Media showed up to live-stream the event, which was also shown on TV screens around the bar area. I had a blast judging the competition and the bartenders really outdid themselves. I'm looking forward to more bartending events like this to bring Baton Rouge personalities and cocktails forward!

Judges, organizers, and winning contestants: photo credit to DIG's Sean Richardson

The overall champion with the best combined score of tastiest cocktail as well as expert bartending was Doe's Eat Place's George Krause (pictured in the center above). His winning cocktail presented George's interpretation of a root beer float  with no root beer or ice cream. Here's the recipe:

Bulleit Proof
2 oz Bulleit Bourbon
1 oz Pure Maple Syrup
1/8 tsp Vanilla Extract
12 drops Herbsaint
12 drops Disaronno
12 drops Hot Cinnamon Schnapps
8 drops Maraschino Cherry Juice

Shake hard and strain over fresh ice
Top with 2 bar spoon sized quenelles of vanilla whipped cream
Garnish with split vanilla bean.

Other winners included Trey Roth (pictured above to the left of George) from Tsunami who took home the best cocktail prize as well as Garland Shurden (pictured above to the right of George) from Rock-n-Sake who won Barmetrix competition.