Jason Sandford is founder of Ashvegas.com. Jason grew up in Asheville and is a 20-year veteran journalist.
Mixologists from Pulp, WXYZ Lounge at Aloft, Cucina24, and Sovereign Remedies will compete Tuesday at Asheville Music Hall for top honors in this year's Bar Wars AVL competition. The event, which begins at 5:30 p.m., is open to the public. The cost is $5 to sample cocktails.
Ten Asheville bars teamed up with a local nonprofit for this year's competition, which featured Icelandic-themed drinks. The bars donated a portion of the sale of every cocktail to their partner charity. Tipplers who bought drinks could vote online for their favorite. The top vote-getters made it to Tuesday's finale.
With cocktail names like "Guakar's Gimlet," "Ulgan," and "Engifermjólk," the mixologists clearly had fun with the initial concept. Their challenge on Tuesday, April 7th, will be to create a Drambuie cocktail. Mixologists will be judged on taste, creativity, balance, and presentation.
The four judges who will decide the big winner are: Stefan Huebner of Heist Brewery in Charlotte; Dwayne Mitchell, owner and lead bartender of Local 616 in Charleston; Jessie Parks, editorial director of Charleston Grit; and Kyle Gray Beach, barman at MG Road in Asheville.
Mary Rich of Spirit Savvy Crafted Cocktail Events is the organizer of Bar Wars AVL, which featured Reyka Vodka.
Asheville Grit and Ashvegas are media partners.