By Rachel Galvin
Creativity and flair were on display at the Bartenders Shakedown & Mixology Matters Cocktail Competition October 9-10 at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott. Bartenders came from around the world to participate and compete for about $10,000 in prizes. This two-day competition was competitive and engaging. When this reporter attended, on the 10th, they had a back and forth dynamic happening between a flair competition and a sustainability cocktail competition. The flair competition had three levels: Pro, Advanced and Amateur. Bartenders juggled bottles, flipped their tools and glasses and showed their stuff with style for great applause from the audience. The sustainability cocktail competition involved the bartender talking about the history behind their original craft cocktail using local farm to table, sustainable ingredients, and then showing how they made it for the judges to sample. There also were other competitions judging skills like accuracy and speed.
Contestants were whittled down to the winners. And the first-place winner in the pro competition will go on to represent the United States and the United States Bartenders’ Guild in the International Bartenders Association World Cocktail Championship in 2024, and the 2nd place will represent the United States and the United States Bartenders’ Guild in the International Bartenders Association Pan-American Games in 2024. The event also serves as the Flor de Cana Florida qualifier for 2023, with the overall 1st place winner in the Cocktail Competition representing our region in the Flor de Cana Sustainable Cocktail Challenge Finals in Nicaragua.
Some other awards that were slated to be given include categories like Most Accurate Bartender, Best Mixology Skills, People’s Choice Award, Most Honorable Bartender and more.
There also were samples of alcohol available for those in attendance and they could find out about different brands. In addition, the conference included interesting workshops on various topics that would educate everyone from the ambitious bartender to the cocktail enthusiast looking to up their own game.
To see scores, visit BSD_Flair_Finals_scores.jpg (1044×324) (bartendbetternow.com)
Here is a link to the website: Bartenders’ Shakedown 2023 – Flairbar.com (bartendbetternow.com)
Here are a few photos… Find more on www.facebook.com/letstalkmagazine