Thursday, March 25, 2010

DonQ USBG LA Regional Competition at Caña @the Doheny

On March 23rd the Los Angeles chapter of the US Bartenders Guild (USBG) held the regional competition sponsored by DonQ rum, in which the winner received a free trip to New York to compete in the nationals against bartenders from across the country at the 1st ever Manhattan Cocktail Classic.

Each participant had 10 minutes to set up their station and then 7 minutes to make their original cocktail. Twelve bartenders from many of the top cocktail & mixology bars competed. A sampling of the bars represented included The Varnish, The Tar Pit, Malo, La Descarga and Rivera. Competitors had to be members of the Los Angeles branch of the USBG.

The three judges included the manager of The Varnish (Eric Alperin), the manager of Caña (John) and Jonathan Gold, the pulitzer prize winning LA Weekly food critic. Each drink was judged solely on taste and appearance. After much deliberation and doublechecking of scores, the winner was declared: Kristina Howald, who bartends at both Rivera and La Descarga.

She will be joining a large Los Angeles delegation attending the MCC in May. Congratulations Kristina! Take home the national trophy for Los Angeles!

The event was held at Caña @the Doheny, the recently relaunched rum bar owned by Cedd Moses. It had previously required a 4 figure initiation and annual dues. Now not only have annual dues been reduced to $20 (which goes to charity), but the focus has been shifted to rum drinks and the decor has been updated to match.

Above photos of Chris Bostick of the Varnish, and Rachel Shaw of Malo during the competition.

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