A few weeks ago, on the night before Repeal Day, Cole’s hosted their annual Jimmy Barella bartending competition. It started at 2PM and I made it to Cole’s to watch the final heat with Edwin Gomez of Cole’s competing with Chris Day (formerly of Bar | Kitchen, Sotto).
For this round, they were not allowed any bar tools except for the glasses the cocktails and ice. They were given a MacGyver type kit that included string and random ingredients.
Remember those days in college when you used to stir your cocktails with chopsticks? This was more intense than that. I saw Edwin muddling mint with a beer bottle and Chris mixing his cocktail with a carafe he found at the bar and then straining with a ladle. Oh yeah, that meant everything was free poured as well.
Chris won with his 2-part cocktail which involved Templeton rye, Fernet-Branca and Chartreuse. Hey, sounds like my kind of party!
Part of the festivities included a Fernet-Branca double ice luge, Templeton punch and a free shot of Fernet-Branca at midnight. The double luge was set on a table with two chairs so you could do a shot with a friend. As if you really needed moral support to do a luge.
On a side note, after the competition, I got the Old Devil (Smith & Cross rum, Sailor Jerry rum, Appleton 12-Year-Old rum, Angostura bitters, Tiki Bitters, brown sugar cube), a drink by one of the Minty’s Hot Bartenders Danny Cymbal. It just went off the specials list but I’m sure you can still request the potent triple rum brew.
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