Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Alley Cat becomes a battleground ... for bartenders

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Four drinks per round. Eight rounds. Do the math. That’s 8 x 4 ... wait for it ... there it is ... 32 cocktails I had to sample while judging Three Olive Vodka’s Bar Wars 2009 to benefit AIDS Walk Charlotte. Myself, along with Sarah Aarthun from The Observer, Joey Hewell from Uptown Magazine, Steve Caldwell from ELEVATE Magazine, Breezekat from the Ace & TJ show and Roxy Moorecox from Petra’s Piano Bar were doing our part to save the world , one sip at a time.

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Bar Wars is a Bars Against AIDS Respond event that raises thousands of dollars for AIDS Walk Charlotte which is coming up May 2. The bars throughout Charlotte round up their troops and throw their bartenders into battle to help fight against AIDS. The drink competition consisted of four categories: martini, shot, Red Bull beverage and Three Olives cocktail. The panel of judges rated each cocktail on a scale of yuck to yum. As a judge, I can go ahead and give you at least one verdict ... I got kinda drunk.

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At one point there were this many drinks in front of me — and yes, that’s a peep floating in my drink. It’s a "Duck in the Pond" made by Lenny at Loft 1523. Let’s just say that was one of the cocktails entered into the contest I wanted to take more than one straw suck of.

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Chad Rock emcee’ed until he sampled a few cocktails to assist in the judging, and then Scott Weaver took over ... my own little Stanford. Everyone there was making their O face ... as in ooh la la for Three Olives Vodka. Looking at the display of laminating Three Olives bottles behind the bar made me feel as though I thought I was in a candy store for liquor ... they have 16 different flavors. My personal favorite is the Cherry vodka, which I used to make my Slutty Shirley Temple.

The battling bartenders included Bryan from Apostrophe (who had some jars of flavoring he kept putting in the cocktails, which kinda looked like he was lubricating the liquor), Lenny from Loft 1523, The Tutto Mundo duo, Tim & Stefan from Cosmos, Zach from Philosopher’s Stone (he garnished his spicy martini with shrimp … what was he trying to kill me?), JT from Thomas St. Tavern, and Travis and Richard from Mez .

And the winners were (drum roll please):

* Best Martini: Bryan’s Cantelope Martini

* Best Shot: Cherry Tootsie Roll Pop by Time&Stefan (and it really did taste like a tootsie roll pop) they may have never determined how many licks it takes to get to the center … but I can tell you it only takes one gulp to down this tasty shot.

* Best Three Olives cocktail: Sex on your Face in the back of a 57 Chevy by Zack

* Best Red Bull beverage: Brasco by JT

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There was also a flair competition with only two contestants– one show looked like a food fight and the other a fireworks show. Needless to say, the fireworks show won, presented by Todd Bailey from Suite.

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The Forum raised the most money for AIDS Walk Charlotte, thus was named the “Best Staff” and for the second year in a row Rolando from The Forum was coined the hottest bartender … perhaps because he looks like Drew Carter (just saying). Rolando also won “Best Overall Bartender.”

For more pics from Bar Wars check out QC After Dark.

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