July 18 at Tales of the Cocktail, seven of the country's leading bartenders went head-to-head to represent their respective cities at Anchor Distilling's, "A 21 Cocktail Salute to the 21st Amendment." Toasting the 80th anniversary of the Repeal Act, the featured bartenders shook things up using spirits from Anchor Distilling's portfolio to create a three-cocktail menu. It was an extremely close competition, but in the end judges Jackson Cannon, Russell Davis, David King, Jim Meehan, Charles Joly and attending guests chose Shaher Misif from San Francisco as the winner with his Dry Spell, Ode to Kinishi, and The Great Escape cocktails.
"Anchor has one of the most interesting and diverse portfolios - the sky was the limit for cocktails. It was great to see the creativity and how each region represented themselves in their cocktails," says Charles Joly, 2013 American Bartender of the Year and beverage director at Aviary in Chicago.
Participating bartenders included Sabrina Kershaw (Citizen Public House, Boston), Ari and Micah Wilder (Federal Restaurant, Washington D.C.), Vanessa Leon (American Airlines Clubhouse, Miami), Bonnie Wilson (The Ranch at Las Colinas, Irving, Texas) Pete Gugni (Scofflaw, Chicago), Tricia Alley (Southern Wine & Spirits Director of Mixology, Southern California) and Shaher Misif (San Francisco).
"I was so impressed by not only the stunning flavors and great use of Anchor's robust portfolio of spirits, but even more impressive was the energy and guests facing nature of the bar tenders. They dispelled any notion that mixology is the purview introverts and bookworms!" says Jackson Cannon, competition judge and owner/bartender of The Hawthorne Bar in Boston.