Nine of the city's biggest names in mixology will be coming together to show their stuff at Fulton Alley downtown on October 1, from 6-8pm, at an event which is free to the public. Both veterans and new faces will be competing in a free form cocktail format as well as providing a twist on the much maligned Cosmo. The competition is co-sponsored by Marie Brizard and the United States Bartenders Guild (USBG).
The competitors, in no particular order: T. Cole Newton, owner of Twelve Mile Limit; Abigail Gullo, bar chef at SoBou; Kimberly Patton Bragg, the Whiskey Evangelist, currently in residence at Three Muses; Cane & Table's Nick Detrich; Noelle Wilcox out of Bar Tonique; Christine-Jeanine Nielson, from CJ's Custom Jobs and formerly of Lucky Rooster; Crystal Pavlas of Dominique's; PJ Hanne, from Felipe's. working under Nathan Dalton in the Felipe's taco-and-a-drink machine; and the local defending cocktail competition champion and winner of the Bombay Sapphire's Most Imaginative Bartender in the city of New Orleans, Amber Peterson, most recently of Dickie Brennan Co. and Apolline Restaurant, and soon-to-be of Pearl Wine Co.
Organizer Mark Schettler says that the competition is being held under the auspices of the 32nd edition of the International Bartenders Seminar, a major international bartending competition with representatives from over twenty countries and being held in Bordeaux at the end of November. Six American cities have been selected to field one of the six US finalists (NY, SF, Dallas, Miami, Vegas, NOLA), from which two will be sent to France for the competition.
Schettler also encourages people to come to the free event, which will include some appetizers, in order to participate in the audience vote.
Judges include Schettler, formerly bar director at Apolline Restaurant and currently at Bar Tonique; Steve Yamada, USBG NOLA chapter president and Latitude 29 head bartender; and Star Hodgson, Glazers multi-state mixologist, and USBG NOLA chapter Vice-President.