Twisting the night away

by Chris Larson | February 23rd, 2017 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Photos provided by Kensie Wallner Photography

Last Sunday the stage for the Fourth Annual Bartender’s Battle was set for eight of the top movers and shakers in the local cocktail scene to toss in a twist of their own creativity, and stand toe to toe in a three-round live cocktail competition that was closer than ever before.

Cheerleaders, housewives and mad men entered the room and were escorted to their seats by the lovely ladies of Blue Belle’s Burlesque, and the room was not only splashed with bright colors by Livewire Entertainment but even featured a giant inflatable twister game thanks to our friends at Games to Go.

DJ Dextrious spun a wide mix of jazz, rock, country, and world beats from the 1950s throughout the entire night, including during competition and it seemed to put a little extra bounce in the skilled shakermasters on stage.

After the early VIP session with liquor samples from Republic National, beer samples from Beverage Wholesalers and an appetizer buffet, the four of us tasked with the incredibly difficult job of deciding the champions of each of three rounds sat down at the table and deliberated on which spirits off a predetermined list we would choose first. We collectively decided on and announced gin and thus the battles began.

Every single competitor brought flavor, creativity, and passion to the stage and made each round an incredibly difficult decision. Most rounds were won by fractions of a point to a point or two and the final round between Andrew Hardy of the Sidestreet Grille and Pub and Elijah Larson of Proof Artisan Distillers was a complete tie that led to a “Bartender’s Choice” shot shake-off.

Even the shot shake-off had the judges’ table deliberating for quite some time and was won by just a fraction of a point by the now Fourth Annual Bartender’s Battle Champion: Elijah Larson, who summed up the evening well.

“Each round presented interesting challenges. The highlight for me is the final stage with one of my best friends. Hardy kept me in the industry when he got me the job at O'Leary's in 2011. He was the kitchen manager at the time. A year later he started bartending with me on Sundays. It was the perfect final,” Elijah said.

There was a whole lot of love for fellow competitors on display throughout, and even in defeat, Andrew echoed Elijah sentiments when remarking on the experience. “The competition was fierce this year so obviously making it into the final round with one of my long-time friends, and someone I respect a ton, was a huge highlight. The fact that we tied up the final round and had to go on to a second round was a highlight. I honestly think Elijah and I probably could have made cocktails for you guys all night long andmaintained that level of performance, because we were both doing what we love to do, and being up there with my doppelganger, compadre, and cohort was just flat-out fun.”

Here’s the breakdown round by round and the spirit chosen by the judges for each…

Read more...

Recently in:

FARGO - Barking dogs don’t bite, but they’re noisy and excitable. The day Zebediah Gartner, an Anishinaabe from Fargo, was released from Cass County Jail after being pulled from a sweat lodge by Fargo police, the “dogs”…

Photos provided by Kensie WallnerRound 1: Rye WhiskeyThe 75 Delmonte (whisky sour; tiki twist) 2 hollowed pineapples, save top for garnishment8oz Woodford Reserve Rye2oz Zaya Rum8oz pineapple juice8oz lemon juice2oz red…

Thursday, March 2, 7-9 p.m.Harry D. McGovern Alumni Center, 1241 University Dr. N., FargoFree and open to the public. No RSVP required.Music by Cat Sank Trio, The event features the official book launch for six of the most recent…

Citizens and voters, including Republicans, are upset by the the first month of the present administration. Republican leaders advised congresspeople to hold town hall meetings during the week-long Presidents Day recess.Molly K.…

North Dakota bigotry, a national one-week strike, and plutocratic plunderingFirst, a rant about the Republican North Dakota Legislature. There’s no doubt there are about 70,000 North Dakotans you consider to be second-class…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

All About Food

​Farm to table

by Elizabeth K. Neshem

Meat production in the United States is reaching record highs, making many items in grocery stores more readily available to consumers.Agricultural producers are conscious of the unpredictability in prices for their commodities.…

Music

​Band of brothers

by Sabrina Hornung

As youths, members of the punk-country band Lucero cultivated their love of music at the neighborhood haunt known as The Antenna Club, which was known to host matinee hardcore shows. But in a city like Memphis, home of the iconic…

A virtually critic-proof three-ring circus of toy-based programming and winking self-reference guaranteed to give even the most devoted admirer whiplash, “The Lego Batman Movie” duplicates some of the charm of its 2014 Phil…

On February 24- 25, Unglued Craft Fest returns to the Plains Art Museum in Fargo for its 7th annual event, to give us all a chance to see, touch, enjoy and purchase items from local, regional and national makers while enjoying…

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: the Viennese musical prodigy is a household name with a prolific catalogue of work. Even to those largely unfamiliar with classical music his name calls up musical genius, Einstein with music. During his…

Humor

What is acceptable comedy?

by HPR Contributor

By Bill LucasYou may wonder about the title. Whenever we hear someone’s opinion I think it is important to know a little about them. We all are offended by many things that are due to our experiences in life. We may be able to…

When an opportunity to meet, dine and drink wine with a winemaker of Nick Goldschmidt’s stature was presented to me, I just had to seize it without hesitation and book a Valentine’s Day Dinner at The Boiler Room. I had briefly…

On May 26 of last year cell phone use was directly linked to cancer. Our Government’s National Toxicology Program (NTP), part of the National Institute of Health, released a preliminary report stating, “Two types of cancer were…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

“The most complete and happy victory is this; to compel one’s enemy to give up his purpose, while suffering no harm oneself.” -Belisarius“I view the United States of these last years of the twentieth century as essentially…