Pickers Vodka, the recent runaway hit product of West Nashville distillery Speakeasy Spirits, has celebrated the local bartenders who have contributed to their success by throwing a little friendly competition to see who could come up with the best drink using their products, either Pickers Original, Blood Orange or Blueberry, as the base spirit. The gala event was held earlier this month at 12th & Porter, and more than 200 people showed up to cheer on their favorite bartenders and partake in some Pickers while listening to three bands.
The competitors were shaking and stirring for the chance to win a trip to New Orleans to attend the annual Tales of the Cocktail this July. Twelve bartenders competed, including participants from Park Cafe, Suzy Wong’s, Burger Up Cool Springs, Midtown Brewhouse, Urban Grub and William Collier’s, who didn’t quite make the final cut.
In the end, six finalists were chosen to compete for the grand championship:
Zac Stred — Tenn Sixteen
Jaime Miller — Lockeland Table
Fabiano Santos — Acme Feed & Seed
Gary Lyons — Cochon Butcher
Alex Jump — Easy Bistro in Chattanooga
Ryan Yamada — Sinema
The esteemed panel of judges were Mike Smith of Conjure (and our beloved ex-publisher here at the Scene), Jamie Bibler from Bon Vivant and Vivek Surti, who is a bit of a bon vivant himself. After sampling all the cocktails, the judges selected Stred of Tenn Sixteen as the winner for his “Flavours of Springtime,” a concoction made with Pickers Blueberry Vodka, lemon, rosemary simple syrup, rhubarb bitters and an egg white with a rosemary garnish.
the judges selected Stred of Tenn Sixteen as the winner for his “Flavours of Springtime,” a concoction made with Pickers Blueberry Vodka, lemon, rosemary simple syrup, rhubarb bitters and an egg white with a rosemary garnish.
Stred has actively been trying to get more involved in the Nashville mixology scene, but this is the first time he has participated in a contest like this one. Up against some pretty heavy competition, the Pickers pickers picked his as pick of the litter. Congrats to Zac! Pace yourself in the Big Easy, friend.