Thursday morning, Bar Smyth’s Omar Yeefoon took the national title of Stoli’s Most Original Bartender, winning over the judges with creative cocktails such as a play on a Manhattan and a deconstructed Moscow Mule, which entailed lime, brown sugar, a shot of vodka and candied sugar on a plate. He competed against four other bartenders from New York, Miami, LA, Dallas and Chicago. Yeefoon took Dallas last month at Candleroom where he went head to head with Cedar Social’s Trina Nishimura and the Dram’s Jason Birt.
The contest tested the bartenders’ creativity as the cocktail-testants had to grab ingredients from a table and use whatever was available. Yeefoon said he just grabbed whatever and came up with everything on the fly.
The modest Yeefoon, who had the Tales glow to him at a High West distilling party on Bourbon Thursday after his win, kept saying his drinks weren’t that great. But he said he was proud to be bringing it back to Texas.
Yeefoon also gave craveDFW a sneak peek of tomorrow’s hot event, the Bare Knuckle Bar Fight.
“It’s gonna be amazing,” Yeefoon previewed. The event is going to pit freshman year bars, he said, and the teams will have to take traditional libations such as the Daiquiri, Tom Collins and Cuba Libre. In preparation, Yeefoon has even made Coke from scratch.
“I don’t like to leave things at the status quo, I like to tweak,” he says of his creative process.
Yeefoon isn’t the only one from Texas representing. Bonnie Wilson of the Ranch at Las Colinas in Irving participated this evening at the 21 Cocktail Salute to the 21st Amendment, which pitted seven bartenders against each other. The bartenders had to come up with a three-cocktail menu, and Wilson’s featured the following:Hellfire & Brimstone (shot)
Hirsch small batch bourbon honey
Chohula hot sauce
Odet’s After 5 (punch)
Anchor Liberty Ale
Mr. Sammy Sunshine
Chinaco Anejo Tequila
The King’s Ginger Liqueur
“It was one of the most stressful events I’ve ever worked,” said an exhausted sounding Wilson shortly after the event. She was happy with the turnout, saying it was “super successful” with 300 packing into the Fleur de Lis room at the Royal Sonesta hotel; there were 100 last year.
Votes are being calculated and the winner will be announced after Tales wraps up.Things are heating up in NOLA with Texas bringing the heat. We’re even getting a hashtag started: #offtherecord. And we can’t tell you the origins because it’s off the record.