Yesterday afternoon Crave was privy to the inner sanctum of a meeting with the North Texas Chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild. There really is such a guild and they meet periodically and throw down some crazy cocktails and share war stories with each other. This day they met at Cedars Social in the South Side of Lamar area of Dallas.
This was no ordinary meeting of the guild, today they needed to determine who would represent North Texas at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic that will be held May 13-17, 2011 in New York. The varied barmen assembled from across Dallas and Fort Worth and included the cream of North Texas restaurants with fantastic cocktail programs including Whiskey Cake, Bolsa, Smoke, Cedars Social, Victor Tango and the Usual Bar in Fort Worth.
“Overall Dallas is finally uniting and coming together with professional bartenders. Dallas is going to be a cocktail destination city in the near future with the talent that is up and coming. This is the most exciting time to be in the Dallas drinking scene. Adios Vodka Redbull,” lamented Martensen at the event.
Having met most of the contenders and sampled their drinks many times in the past I can say each of the men are very worthy and top in their game. The judges included Kevin Gray, Chris Cain and Michael Martensen. The winner of the competition which had a Tiki theme, a cocktail option that seems to be making its way back into the realm of greatness, would receive the prize courtesy of Don Q Anejo Rum which is one of the main sponsors for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic.
Each of the men came prepared, some were busily chipping ice, while others remained calm with the pending challenge and enjoyed a Mai Tai while waiting their turn.
David Mayer “Tiki Dave” of the Usual Bar Fort Worth won top honors with his Back to the Island AKA the Master of Space and Time as did Abe Badell of Victor Tangos with his Cambodian Coller.