Imbibers and spectators alike enjoyed the festivities of the annual Tales of the Cocktail festival in July – from educational seminars to tastings, there was something for everyone. One particular event of note was the Grand Marnier Bar Room Brawl Competition on July 23 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., featuring competing cocktail bars vying for the title of mixology champion.
Generations Hall played host to the “Brawl,” which featured bars The Varnish from Los Angeles,
The Florida Room from Miami, Drink from Boston, Rickhouse from San Francisco, Dutch Kills from New York and The Drawing Room from Chicago.
Judges Tony Abou Ganim, Bridget Albert, Dale DeGroff, Allen Katz, Francesco Lafranconi, Jim Meehan, Chris McMillan, Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Julie Reiner, Audrey Saunders and David Wondrich sampled original drinks from the competitors featuring Grand Marnier orange liqueur. At midnight the selection was made: Drink walked away with the title and was also later crowned “Best Bar in America.”
The Bar Room Brawl, hosted by Andy Seymour and Steve Olson, was followed by a raucous after-party where spirits flowed and everyone, competition winners and losers alike, enjoyed the fête.