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National Restaurant Association Challenges Mixologists Nationwide to Battle for Coveted Title of ‘Star of the Bar’

April 15, 2014 By: Nightclub & Bar


Star of the BarThe National Restaurant Association (NRA) invites professional mixologists to show off their skills and creativity and vie for the sought-after title of Star of the Bar, developing cocktails featuring award winning Casamigos Tequila, privately owned by longtime friends George Clooney and Rande Gerber, founder of Gerber Spirits and Discovery Land Company CEO & founder Michael Meldman– and exclusively imported and distributed in the U.S. by Sidney Frank Importing Company.

“We love tequila. On the rocks, by the shot, at times straight from the bottle. Our idea was to make the best-tasting, smoothest tequila whose taste didn’t have to be covered up with salt or lime,” say Clooney and Gerber.

The fifth annual competition, which features a $5,000 cash grand prize, begins online and culminates at the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (IWSB) at NRA Show 2014 in Chicago. Six semifinalists will be selected from all online entries and brought to Chicago to create and sample their cocktail made with Casamigos Blanco or Reposado on the IWSB Event floor. IWSB attendees will vote to help determine three finalists, who will then demonstrate and sample their cocktail to a panel of judges at the annual Restaurants Rock party on Sunday, May 18, hosted and emceed by TV personality, chef, and food writer Andrew Zimmern.

“Creative use of cocktails and other beverage alcohol is a way for restaurants and other foodservice operations to increase check averages and raise margins,” said 2014 NRA Show and IWSB Convention Chair Sam Facchini, co-founder and co-owner of Las Vegas-based Metro Pizza. “The annual Star of the Bar Mixology Competition celebrates talented mixologists who contribute to a successful bar program by developing imaginative and marketable cocktails. And it’s a great time for all involved.”

Entries are submitted via online video and recipe submission. An IWSB panel of judges determines five of the semifinalists, with the sixth picked by the general public as the “people’s choice” contender through online voting from April 21-23. The six semifinalists earn a trip to Chicago to demonstrate their cocktail live on the Event floor in front of top food and beverage industry leaders at IWSB on Sunday, May 18.

IWSB attendees narrow the field down to the top three Star of the Bar finalists, who then advance to the final live competition judged by master mixologists Tony Abou-Ganim and King Cocktail Dale DeGroff, along with a representative from Sidney Frank Importing Company, at Restaurants Rock, the official after-party of IWSB and NRA Show held at The Castle (632 N Dearborn St, Chicago) on Sunday, May 18 from 9 p.m.-midnight. Zimmern’s high-energy attitude gets the party started, and then he presides over the finals of the sixth annual Star of the Bar mixology competition.  

Interested individuals who would like a shot at the title, a trip to Chicago to demonstrate their skills at IWSB, as well as a chance at the $5,000 prize should complete the following:

  • Design a signature cocktail recipe that prominently features Casamigos Tequila
  • Create a video no more than 2 minutes long, describing and mixing the drink, and upload it to YouTube
  • Submit the entry form online by April 16, 2014, including a link to the video in the recipe instructions

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