Cocktail Showdown

2015 Cocktail Showdown

October 14th, 2015

Usher's House, Mezzaluna and Boiler Room are Week 1 visits


It’s the dawn of the seventh annual HPR cocktail showdown. With at least 30 participating bars seeking the same goal and asking the same question: Who makes the best drink in town? Where the drinks are stiff and the competition is stiffer. Three fearless judges enter the ring judging one shot and one cocktail at each establishment rating them 1-10 in three categories: presentation, flavor and creativity. It’s a tough job but…

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Mixology 101

October 14th, 2015

Crafting a cocktail

By Scott Motschenbacher

Cocktail -- what is a cocktail? What is the definition of cocktail? According to Wikipedia, on May 13, 1806, the editor of a local publication in Hudson, N.Y., defined it as such: “a potent concoction of spirits, bitters, water and sugar.” Has that definition stood the test of time? Personally, I say yes; I’m sure I would be battled on this by many drinkers, drunks, beer tenders, bartenders and contortionists. Send me an email, we’ll…

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Bartenders Battle: Prepare to Get Lit Up

February 4th, 2015

Photo and design by Raul Gomez

The rising art of mixology will be on display when eight area bartenders gather together for a competition that will end with the crowning of the 2015 Mixologist of the Year.

The 2nd Annual Bartenders Battle will take place at the Avalon West (formerly The Venue) and it promises to result in bragging rights for whoever is crowned this year’s top of the lot.

The Bartenders Battle is a chance to recognize many of Fargo-Moorhead’s great bars and restaurants and reward them for their…

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​The 6th Annual HPR Cocktail Showdown Winners

December 10th, 2014

After weeks of the grueling task of sampling the finest drinks and shots from the best bartenders at bars and restaurants of all types throughout Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo, the 6th Annual HPR Cocktail Showdown has come to an end. While the judges had varying opinions and tastes on the wide variety of contestants, the winners compiled the highest scores in categories of presentation, flavor and creativity.

All eight of the bartenders listed, including the runners up, have…

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​6th annual Cocktail Showdown: Week 5

November 26th, 2014

We are in the final week of the 6th annual HPR Cocktail Showdown. Hard to believe but time flies when you are sampling some of the region’s finest drinks. Stay tuned in coming issues for the finalists from this year’s field and details on when and where they will face off to crown a winner for the finest drink and shot.

Photo by Raul Gomez

Usher’s

The drink: Ulfberht
The creator: Andrew Hardy

This take on an old fashioned was named after the Ulfberht sword (the term “Ulfberht” being an inscription…

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​Cocktail Showdown Week 4

November 19th, 2014

Week 4 of the Cocktail Showdown brought us to four different bars. From upscale to dive, all of them had their own charm. We are starting to near the end of the challenge. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for details on where and when the top vote getters will square off to see who can make the best shot and drink from this year’s contestants.

The Empire

Photo by Raul Gomez

The shot: Cherry Popper
The creator: Lea Hanson

We kicked off this week at the legendary staple dive bar of downtown Fargo. Lea Hanson…

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​Cocktail Showdown week 3

November 12th, 2014

Rustica

Photo by Raul Gomez

The Shot: Chocolate Covered Strawberry
The Creator: Kyle Berglund
This dessert shot consists of muddled strawberries, Tito’s Vodka, crème de cacao and Godiva chocolate and white chocolate liqueurs. It is decorated with chocolate syrup drizzle in the glass and a fresh halved strawberry on the rim. Berglund said he was largely inspired by patrons’ high demand for something sweet after dinner but were too full for dessert. Hence, bringing to his imagination, the alcoholic and…

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​Cocktail Showdown Week 2

November 5th, 2014

Rooters

The shot: Barry Manilow
The creator: Dirk Thiedeman

This shot features red Liquid Ice and blackberry brandy with a splash of blue Curacao Liqueur. When Rooter’s got the Liquid Ice in stock, Dirk set out to experiment and come up with a shot featuring it. The Barry Manilow is the result. He is pretty sure he found a winner with this concoction. With shots, definitely, sometimes less is more.

The drink: Tropical Kink
The creator: Dirk Thiedeman

Dirk challenged his other manager to…

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​6th Annual Cocktail Showdown begins

October 30th, 2014

It’s time once again for the High Plains Reader’s annual Cocktail Showdown where four fearless judges have the enviable, difficult task of judging drinks and shots from area bars to decide which bartenders are the best of the best.

Each drink is judged on a scale from 1 to 5 in three categories: creativity, presentation and flavor. Bartenders who present above-and-beyond drinks in each category will prevail.

HPR will visit at total of about 30 bars. With so many amazing bartenders in…

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