On Tuesday, November 27th, one of the city’s most respected cocktail destinations, El Dorado, will once again reign in eight of the biggest players in San Diego’s burgeoning cocktail scene for the 2012 El Dorado Bartender Challenge. An imbibers dream featuring a night of progressive spirit driven creations fashioned at the hands of true professionals, the annual event was one of the first of its kind in San Diego with its inauguration in 2009. To this day, the Bartender Challenge still remains one of the most highly anticipated spirits events of the year. This year’s challenge, destined to be the biggest and best yet, will donate a portion of the evening’s bar sales directly towards the On-Life Suicide Prevention Organization.
Celebrating San Diego’s burgeoning craft cocktail scene, the past two El Dorado Bartender Challenge titles have been won by none other than Noble Experiment bartender and drink scholar, Anthony Schmidt. On November 27th Schmidt will return once again to protect his title as reigning champ against an impressive lineup of masterminds including Tim Stevens (Seven Grand), Tyler French (Prohibition), Ryan Kuntz (El Dorado Cocktail Lounge), Christian Siglin (Craft & Commerce), Hass Mahmood (Lion’s Share), Pedro Melgar (Saltbox), and Jacqueline Coulon (Starlight).
This head-to-head, Iron Chef-style competition will be conducted in single-elimination rounds. Contestants will be asked to create an original cocktail in four minutes using pre-determined bases, smoothing or coloring agents, fresh ingredients and one unknown “modifying spirit”, per round that must be used in the libation.
This year’s all-star judging panel features general manager, Jayson Wylde, of San Francisco’s internationally famed Bourbon and Branch, craft spirits specialist Levi Walker of the nationally based spirits and wine distribution company, Young's Market -- plus City Beat editor, Amy Granite; San Diego’s Thrillist.com editor, Kyle Hall; and lifestyle and entertainment writer for the U-T San Diego, Michelle Dederko. Joining the El Dorado family to emcee the 2012 Bartender Challenge this year is one of San Diego’s favorite media personalities and culture connoisseurs, Chris Cantore, of the U-T San Diego.
The drink that receives the highest aggregate score among the judges will move on to the next round of cocktail construction. The winner will take home the coveted Bartender Challenge Otis Buffalo Memorial Trophy, a bottle of Buffalo Trace, and $200 cash prize. The no cover event will open doors at 6 p.m. El Dorado Cocktail Lounge is located at 1030 Broadway in downtown.
El Dorado Cocktail Lounge also will celebrate its 4th Anniversary on November 20th with an invite only event followed by a reception open to the public.
For more information, check out the event posters below and visit www.eldoradobar.com.