The kid gloves were off. The time for reckoning (or,
drinking fantastic cocktails) was upon us. Just who would reign supreme in the
Yelp Pours It On finale aka battle of wits and bitters? At the beginning of the
evening, no one knew for sure. The only thing guests did know — as soon as they
walked into the Downtown beauty known as Avenue D — they were in for a Tanteo-tanic treat of
You might recall that the drinks being served up this
evening were mighty, indeed. Not only were they packed with flavor and crafted
with skill, they’d beaten out 12 other cocktails to make it to the finals. From
Battle I, The Social Club’s Chad Phillips was certain of his Seven Types of
Ambiguity. Sugarcane’s Jamal Giles bested his field with the aptly named
Cantaloupe Smoke. It was the Battle II victor. And, fresh off a win (from just
a week prior) Juan Gonzalez made guests and judges alike want to travel for his
Inca Swizzle. The cocktail was the top of Battle III’s field and SushiSamba
Coral Gables was all the prouder for it. Judges Jorge Arauz, Allegra Angelo and
Nick Pena stepped up to figure it all out.
So as to keep things fresh, there were some new elements
incorporated into the Finale. You have to go big, right? In this case, ‘big’
was a flavor reference. Yardbird Southern Table & Bar brought the house
down with their famous chicken & biscuits. Fried chicken and honey biscuits
never tasted so good. Gilbert’s Bakery raised the roof with cake shots: bites
of chocolate and vanilla cake guests could pair with decadent topping sauces
like bananas foster and salted caramel. Capture Pod photobooth worked their
magic with period-friendly props and shots. And, the music of the Seth Woods
Trio filled the air and hypnotized guests (in a good way, of course).
After a while, the moment a month in the making was here.
Winning an engraved bartender’s kit, VIP tickets to the South Beach Seafood
Festival, bragging rights, publicity as the featured bartender at the Yelp
installation at the Sobe Seafood Festival, and the title of Yelp Pours It On
mixologist of 2013 was (drumroll, please) Juan Gonzalez of SushiSamba Coral
Gables. His Inca Swizzle made up of cocoa Tanteo Tequila, white cacao liqueur
(Briottet), lemon, sugar syrup, chocolate bitters, and julienned lemon zests
delighted judges and guests and brought home the win. But there was one more
winner to be named: the People’s Choice. During the month of September, the
cocktail that sparked the most tequila love was Sugarcane’s Cantaloupe Smoke.
Check out Alex H's photos here and Capture Pod's here. Guests wrote their impressions here. Congrats to both and thanks to all who made Yelp Pours It On a smash success.
Resting his liver,