The Yelp All-STARR Rum Challenge is officially underway, thanks to a kick-ass kick-off at The Panther Room & Canopy Bar in Williamsburg! This brand new venue adjacent to the Output is incredible, and yesterday afternoon, some of NYC's finest yelpers congregated on their gorgeous rooftop for a taste of deliciously crafted Starr African Rum cocktails from some of Brooklyn's best bars.
With the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop, everyone sampled Starr cocktails from Challenge participants Donna, Extra Fancy, Huckleberry Bar, and of course, our host The Panther Room & Canopy Bar. It was certainly hot, but these craft cocktails took the edge off and cooled everyone down. The only tough thing about this Sunday afternoon was deciding which cocktail bar to vote for.
Everyone had their own favorite, and for Briana H "the folks at Extra Fancy won it hands-down with their "Zambee'zi" cocktail" (Starr Rum, Fresh Lemon Juice, Honey, Yellow Chartreuse, Smoky Scotch & sprig of Thyme). They kept the party going with shots for the crowd, but "the unexpected combo "of scotch, yellow chartreuse, and a thyme garnish" was what won many a yelper over. For many others, it was The Panther Room & Canopy Bar's Black Panther that won the day with a balanced mix of Starr Rum, fresh lemon, dark grapes, brown sugar & topped off with white wine.
Meanwhile, Lori L loved Huckleberry Bar's La Noix Passionne, "a delicious concoction of rum, orgeat, passionfruit juice, and peach nectar, all topped off with a strawberry." For his part, Michael W was torn between that and The False Start From Donna (Starr Rum, Lustau Amontillado Sherry, Lime Juice, Ginger Syrup, Cinnamon Syrup) "as I teetered back and forth in drunken splendor." All were eminently tasty, as was shown by the EXTREMELY close final vote, but in the end the people chose Donna's False Start as the winner! Must've been that cinnamon bark syrup…
Don't worry though, The Challenge is just getting started! Including the bars listed above, nine Brooklyn cocktail lounges are offering their own Starr Challenge entry until the end of the month! Get out there, find your favorite and vote right here.
By voting, you will be placed in a raffle to win all kinds fun prizes like being Starr's VIP guest at one of the exclusive events that Starr sponsors (movie premieres, album release parties, celebrity charity galas). We'll also be giving away dinners for two at participating restaurants like Fatty 'Cue, invitations for you and a guest to attend Yelp / All-STARR Rum Challenge Finale event, your very own bottle of Starr African Rum and other fun prizes.
A huge thanks to Jeffrey of Starr African Rum, Jonathan, Bo, and the rest of the Canopy Bar staff for welcoming us in for such an awesome Sunday afternoon. Whether or not you made it out, make sure to check out all the reviews of the event, the photos from the lovely Melanie Fidler…and get out there and find your favorite cocktail, and don't forget to vote! If you need a little push, there's a StarrCrawl on Wednesday…
Squinty Peter D and the rest of the Yelp NYC Team