The Bar Belle: Bellying up to bartending blokes

Oct 31, 2006 at 5:41 pm
Last Friday I was given the opportunity to act out what may be my life’s calling. I was asked to judge a fierce bartending competition between 10 bartenders from England, Scotland and Ireland — to see who could make the best drink using Woodford Reserve bourbon. The contest was held at the Brown-Forman compound, a place that feels just as magical as the liquor they sell. (There’s a fully stocked bar in their lunchroom. Can you imagine?)

Anyway, the handful of judges had to evaluate the UK hotties on the basis of taste, presentation and knowledge of the product. The drink they concocted was supposed to complement the bourbon, not cover up its distinct flavors. The nervous, shaky blokes all stepped up to the plate and made some fantastic drinks — some of the ingredients included caramel, honey, ginger and cinnamon. One of them even made a delicious chocolate martini that I just about refused to pass down the line. The winning libation was titled Right of Passage, which riffed on the Old Fashioned (which was supposedly invented in Louisville’s Pendennis Club). Plum flavoring and ginger ale was involved … and I can’t say much else about it … except that it was quite tasty and strong. Bravo.

Smoke you!
Well, only two of you felt compelled enough to e-mail me with your vote as to whether I should continue to stop smoking or smoke until the ban goes into effect in July. Lucky for me, the two votes were “Yes — keep smoking!” However, because of the mere fact that only two demented souls wrote in to encourage me to keep sucking cancer into my lungs, I may have to reconsider. I had a few puffs over the weekend, which oddly made me feel more relieved than guilty. I am human — I am not perfect. If a few puffs get me through my weekend, as opposed to an entire pack, that’s much better. Right? But what do you care? Enough already.

Beer is good. E-mail me at [email protected]