Devoured Bartending Competition 2016

Immediately upon entering the patio of Desoto Market packed with tents and happy taste testers, we held tight to our drink cards and made our way to the first participant in sight, with the shortest line of course.
First up was St. Francis {bartender: Titus Fauntleroy} with an earthy concoction of turmeric, orange and pineapple juice, Worcestershire sauce, and tres amigos tequila. Both a beautiful color and refreshing drink the subtle bite of the worcestershire sauce combined with the sweet citrus danced on the palate to create a naturally delightful drink.

KD9A9827Moving on to their neighbor Clever Koi {bartender: Joshua James}, we enjoyed the Good Luck Young Piña. KD9A9829KD9A9833KD9A9838

A blend of Tres Amish Mescal, pineapple juice, pineapple gum, lime, dusted with chocolate and smoked sea salt.  I’ll admit it’s my own bias and preference but I don’t love the smokiness of the sea salt or Mescal, however,  I will say this drink wins best garnish.
KD9A9842Welcome Diner {bartender: Zach Smith} was next up with a true desert Margarita garnished with soaked aloe vera flesh and a spritz of creosote, so you know, you can actually smell a monsoon as you sip. The drink also features Tres Amigos Tequila and Por Siempre Sotol a grassy cousin of mescal, and to my pleasure much less smoky and much more herb-y. KD9A9845Keeping with the desert theme of the drink I think it’s worth noting the sotol is from the Sierra Madres Mountains, in Chihuahua, Mexico.  It’s distilled from wild-harvested sotol, a significant desert plant that’s sacred and sustaining to the people of Chihuahua.  KD9A9846


KD9A9856Windsor {bartender: Rob Moore – not pictured} served a light and crisp cucumber, ginger, gin, pomegranate + tea cocktail.  Perfect for summer.  It was so popular it won the people’s choice award from the competition.KD9A9855KD9A9852KD9A9862Phoenician’s The Thirsty Camel {Bartender:Robert Porter} serves a cocktail composed of apple, cinnamon, cayenne, red bell pepper, gin with almond syrup, and lemon. The sweet + spicy sip was paired with a bite of apple cinnamon chip that tastes super sweet after a sip of the peppery drink. The subtle sweetness of the bell pepper note was balanced by the cinnamon and cayenne bite making this sip warm and inviting.KD9A9867Citizen Public House {Bartender: Michael Liberatore –  on the right} concocted a ‘nana boo boo.’ Citrus-infused gin, figgy pudding bitters, and banana and apple pie liquor round out this drink. If you’re super into the sound of apple pie liquor, you’re out of luck. The drink isn’t on the menu and the only way you can score liquid apple pie gold is if you happen to know the dude from Jimmy Eat World’s grandma since it’s her recipe. This coriander, cinnamon, lemon, + champagne is like apple cider for a hot day- and there are plentttty of those in Arizona.KD9A9909KD9A9872KD9A9874KD9A9876Desoto Central Market {Bartender: Jillian Newman – not pictured}  This drink was a blend of apricot jam, bourbon, Montenegro, apricot liqueur, and bubbly prosecco. Bitter meets sweet when the earthy flavor of a peaty bourbon is paired with sweet Montenegro and lime. Topped with bubbly prosecco, the drink is sweet without being overpowering. KD9A9880The Henry  {Bartender: Tanner Lips}  Serving a “Painted Mule,” a deconstructed Moscow mule from Hashtag Vodka from O.H.S.O., ginger syrup, soda and an extract of lavender + violet made by O.H.S.O. specifically for the drink.KD9A9886KD9A9891The Mule might have been Stephanie’s favorite drink of the day, “Was super into @thehenry_15‘s deconstructed lavender infused take on the mule.” she wrote on instagram.KD9A9893And I couldn’t hang out at Desoto without getting my favorite cauliflower bowl from the Larder + the Delta.KD9A9925 O.H.S.O.’s latest release #Gin and #Vodka were both sponsors of several mixed drinks.KD9A9918Once we were done trying all the drinks we headed inside to check out the actual competition.KD9A9958KD9A9984KD9A9986KD9A9991KD9A0017KD9A0018KD9A0031KD9A0039KD9A0052Robert Porter from The Phoenician’s Thirsty Camel Lounge won first place at the Bartending Competition!  Robert reached the final round by winning Heat 3 of the competition with a drink called “Cinnamon Samurai”made with OHSO Distillery’s #Gin and featuring my favorite cocktail trick; whisked egg white.

Congrats Robert!


The Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition was the first in a series of events presented by Local First Arizona and Devour Phoenix as part of the Devoured Culinary Classic. Later this week we’ll be attending Palette to Palate, and the Devoured Culinary Classic (March 5 and 6). While the Devoured Culinary Classic is sold out, tickets to the other remaining events this week can be purchased at

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