Basketball season may be another month away, but the starting lineup for Golden 1 Center’s premium cocktails is nearly set after Monday night.
Eleven bartenders squared off at Revival, the rooftop bar overlooking Golden 1 Center at the Kimpton Sawyer, to have their Kings-inspired drinks tasted by a nattily-dressed crowd and a panel of judges. More than half the initial 24 competitors were weeded out during previous rounds at Red Rabbit Kitchen and Bar earlier in the month.
Liquors had to be from British beverage giant Diageo’s reserve line, limiting bartenders to Crown Royal, Ketel One, Bulleit, Dickel, Don Julio, Tanqueray Ten, Zacapa and Ciroc. Drinks had to contain less than seven ingredients, including no more than three alcoholic beverages, and had to have less than 2 ounces of liquor, total.
The winning bartenders get their cocktail on Golden 1 Center’s menu for the next year and get to prepare it at three Kings’ games. They also get tickets to a game, a Tasty-style video pushed out on the arena’s social media channels and gear from Diageo and the Kings.
“It’s fun because you get to go to a few games and go in some areas where you’re not normally allowed,” said Chad Brown, the general manager at B-Side who made the cut both last year and Monday night. “I’ve been a Kings fan all my life and it’s always awesome to get behind the scenes.”
The five winners were:
“Lion’s Roar” by Arnold Barajas of Flamingo House Social Club
▪ 1.5 oz. Zacapa 23 rum, 1 oz. simple syrup, 1 oz. orange juice, 1/2 oz. lime juice, rosemary sprigs, 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters. Shake ingredients, excluding bitters and all but 1/2 a rosemary sprig, double-strain into a Collins glass, add bitters and garnish with orange peel and remainder of rosemary.
“Lion’s Pride” by Bryan Matthews of Red Rabbit Kitchen and Bar
▪ 2 oz. Don Julio Reposado tequila, 1 oz. grapefruit juice, 3/4 oz. lemon juice, 1/2 oz. simple or cocktail syrup, two dashes orange bitters, topped with ginger beer. Shake all ingredients, excluding ginger beer, fine strain, add ginger beer and ice. Garnish with a lemon swath.
“The Kings Crown“ by Teresa Loughner of Ella Dining Room & Bar
▪ 1.5 oz. Crown Royal Apple whiskey, 1 oz. cranberry juice, 1/2 oz. lemon juice, 1/4 oz. agave nectar. Shake all ingredients and strain over ice. Garnish with an orange twist.
“Luck Be a Lady” by Isham Hodges of Limelight Bar & Cafe
▪ 1.5 oz. Tanqueray Ten gin, 1/2 oz. St. Germain elderflower liquor, 1/4 oz. lime juice, 1/4 oz. simple syrup. Shake all ingredients, pour into a highball glass, top with ice, finish with grapefruit and soda water. Stir and garnish with English cucumber.
“The Triple-Double” by Chad Brown of B-Side
▪ 1.5 oz Bulleit rye whiskey, 1/2 oz. St. George spiced pear liqueur, 1/2 oz. Burly Beverages ginger beer syrup, 3/4 oz. lemon juice, soda water, two to three dashes Peychaud’s bitters. Garnish with lemon peel and mint.
Drinks from bartenders at The Bank, Jungle Bird, Monk’s Cellar, Revival and Block Butcher Bar will be posted on Golden 1 Center’s social media for a fan vote.