Cocktail Showdown

​Cocktail Showdown: Week 2

February 6th, 2019

The Karlsilege

For our second week of the Cocktail Showdown, it was an abbreviated one due to the bitter cold weather closing down several of the establishments throughout downtown, including the ones we were set to visit. Thankfully, Andrew Hardy was excited enough about his competition entry to come in on a night off and treat us to a makeup Monday at the Sidestreet Grille and Pub, on 4th and 4th in downtown Fargo.

The Sidestreet is one of those hangouts that seems to have it all. One of the most…

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​2019 Cocktail Showdown is underway

January 31st, 2019

HPR's Cocktail Showdown begins - photograph by Raul Gomez

It’s always good to be missed and I’ve heard the same phrase, or a variation of it, from many readers over the last month or so….”when are you (HPR judges) starting the Cocktail Showdown?” While this year’s edition of the High Plains Reader’s Cocktail Showdown has begun a bit later than previous years, on behalf of my fellow judges and the fine participating establishments scattered throughout Fargo/Moorhead, I proudly present to you the first week of the 2019 edition of the…

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HPR’s Bartender’s Battle 2018 pictures

April 17th, 2018

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was allowed to enter a cocktail, but for the first time ever, we allowed participants to choose to create an after-dinner drink in place of the shot category.

The event was hosted at the Holiday Inn, and the theme was tropical tiki. 

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Plenty of island flavor at the 5th Annual Bartenders Battle

February 21st, 2018

HPR's Bartender's Battle - photograph by Kensie WallnerAlthough the temperatures were sub zero last Sunday, the crowd and competitors were certainly on fire at the Holiday Inn in Fargo for the 5th Annual Bartenders Battle.

This event has become a highlight of the year for the service industry and this year’s Tiki theme was without a doubt well represented throughout the night. We saw it not only in the attire of the crowd and the juiciness of the drinks, but in the ambiance as well.

As guests arrived, they were escorted to their tables by…

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​Judd Eskildsen’s winning recipes

February 21st, 2018

Judd Eskildsen - photograph by Kensie WallnerRound one: tequila
Strawberry Cilantro Sour
I chose Casa Noble Anejo Tequila for this drink because its deep vanilla and oak characteristics reminded me of a smooth whiskey. With whiskey on my mind, I decided to play on the traditional whiskey sour with egg whites. 

I started adding 2 egg whites to an iSi Whipper with 1 oz. of fresh-squeezed lime juice and charged it with NO2. Then I muddled fresh cilantro with fresh strawberries, a bit of sweetened raspberry puree, and topped it with 2…

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It’s Tiki Time!

February 14th, 2018

Designed by Raul GomezThis year’s Cocktail Showdown yielded a mixture of familiar and fresh faces to compete in the Fifth Annual Bartenders Battle when it returns to the Holiday Inn on Sunday February 18th. With a bright and colorful Tiki theme, we encourage you to bust out the island attire and join us, as eight of the best bartenders in town compete for an array of prizes that is bigger and better than ever before.

We highly suggest you consider a VIP table of 8, which allows you early entry into the…

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​HPR Cocktail Showdown: the results are in

January 26th, 2018

Once again it is time to announce the winners of the HPR Cocktail Showdown. After several weeks of sampling a wide array of traditional and modern cocktails, shots, and after-dinner drinks, the results are in and we are excited to present you the winners.

Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was allowed to enter a cocktail, but for the first time ever, we allowed participants to…

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​Cocktail Showdown: final week

December 20th, 2017

Rhombus Guys

While they may be known locally and throughout the region for their restaurants, which feature over thirty different pizzas, and their recent addition of a brewery in Grand Forks, Rhombus Guys also proudly pour from a wide array of spirits for sipping or mixing. They also feature twenty different wines by the glass or bottle and a cocktail menu that features craft spirits in staff-created cocktails, including the Jaffa-tini and their Cucumber Pomegranate Lemonade, which were…

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​Cocktail Showdown Week Five

December 12th, 2017

cjlarson75@gmail.com

Newly remodeled since July of this year, the Spirits Lounge inside the Holiday Inn in Fargo takes the lounge concept to a level of comfort that isn’t often seen in town.

On one side of the room, underneath two large flatscreens, you and a dozen of your friends can enjoy classy yet comfortable seating on enormous couches and large lounge chairs, while you enjoy a solid selection of a dozen different wines.

If, like our judges, you are in search of something a little…

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​Cocktail Showdown: Week Four

November 24th, 2017

On this, the fourth week of the 2017 HPR Cocktail Showdown, we return to visit a previous contender and welcome a new one. Heading back Downtown for this week’s judging, we first sat down at the newly renamed Zest Lounge inside the Radisson Hotel Fargo, where Vince Kramer was excited to toss his hat in the ring for a first-time appearance in the Cocktail Showdown. We then paid a visit to the Boiler Room and returning contender Josh Goedtke, who made a very strong showing in both the…

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