Tequila and Norcal USBG Rock!
Well it’s definitely been awhile since my last post. Been really busy at work with new cocktail and beer menu’s coming out next week and trying to do some competitions as well. About 3 weeks ago I entered my second competition for the Tequila Rocks! event at the Galleria in S.F. put on by Tamales by the Bay. It was a great time! A lot of really nice people, fantastic vendors with food and different Tequila’s and Mezcal’s! I showed up a little bit early since I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I walked around and took a few “tastings” of Tequila to calm my nerves. There were four rounds in all with about 12 competitors for the shake off. I went second around 2pm or so and I honestly wasn’t too sure how well I did. Myself and a few other people from the USBG; Summer Jane-Bell (membership go-getter!), Michael Callahan (our VP) and Kevin Deidrich (Mr. Prez) were all invited to attend and compete. I also got to meet Twitter BarHawg a.k.a. David, who seemingly has the coolest job in the world….that guy is freaking eating and drinking everywhere. We all just really enjoyed the event, made our cocktails, ate some food and tasted some delicious booze! Around 4 P.M. all 3 judges started to announce the winners. The three judges were H. Joseph Erhmann, Virginia Miller and Ryan Kelley, all absolutely wonderful people who are great to talk to as well! Third place was announced and it was Jay from the Walnut Creek Yacht Club, second place was Michael Callahan from Azul. When I heard Michael called I was like “oh crap I didn’t win”. Personally I thought Kevin or Summer would have gotten first if Michael got second…….H. went up and announced who got first place…..it was me! I literally had no clue what to do and my jaw totally dropped. By far one of my best days as a bartender! I called the winning cocktail “Council of Four” which consisted of Casa Noble Reposado Tequila, Amontillado Sherry, Elderflower, home-made Lemon grass syrup and some Meyer Lemon tincture that I also made at home. I garnished it with dehydrated Meyer lemon wheels and edible flowers stuck onto it by agave nectar.
This is what I look like when I’m surprised:
Here’s the winnings, who wants to drink some with me?!! Gotta share it right?
I really have to credit my love and success with bartending with the people who I have been meeting and learning from. The USBG has been such a great influence and so many bartenders that belong to this great chapter are always willing to share. Michael Callahan has really taught me a lot, just by visiting him at his bar. The guy is thoroughly knowledgable in regards to mixing and operating a business. He as well as many other bartenders are people I look up to. I’ve been fortunate enough to learn from Aaron and Brandon from 15 Romolo, Kevin Deidrich at The Burrit Room, Summer Jane-Bell, Josh from the Bon Vivants. All the “seminars” which are educational, but an absolute blast and meetings are always interesting. I’ve been trying to make every meeting, cocktail competition and any other volunteer opportunity I can when I’m not busy. The Norcal USBG has such phenomenal people in it, I’m so lucky and grateful for living in the Bay Area. If it wasn’t for the USBG I don’t think I would be where I am now….and hopefully heading for that matter. I really want to express my heartfelt gratitude and thanks to everyone I have met and have learned from. I remember the first thing Michael said to me when he congratulated me with a smile on his face; “Give it back” and that exactly what I want to do. I want to give back everything I have learned from everyone along the way and keep on contributing not only to the USBG, but to our great industry as well. Thank you all so much!!
Here’s one of the creations Mr. Callahan made when I visited at Azul:
Well that’s it for today, I got to go work on some new stuff for work. I’ll share the new cocktails next time and if you’re around, c’mon into Chow! I’m always more than happy to meet new people and make you some tasty libations! Cheers!