On April 20th, Barrel House American Bar in Beverly—BONS 2014 winner for best cocktail and bar—hosted a gathering of the North Shore’s finest bartenders in a friendly competition called “The Bridge & Tunnel Bash.” Organized by Sean Maher, Barrel House’s managing partner and head bartender, the evening featured a high-energy cocktail mix-up between 12 star bartenders. Each was drink was scored on flavor, originality, and presentation by guest judges Brandy Rand (Northshore magazine and Thirst Boston), Fred Yarm (author of Drink & Tell) and Adam Lantheaume (The Boston Shaker).
From Woburn to Gloucester, the craft cocktail movement has gained serious momentum across the North Shore over the past few years as evidenced by the sold-out crowd cheering on their favorites. Spirits were high (and flowing) as the talented bartenders shook and stirred a creative range of cocktails. Whiskey, tequila, and bitter flavors dominated the evening’s drinks, all of which were artfully presented in vintage cocktail glasses. After the judges tallied their votes, Joel Atlas from The Baldwin Bar at Sichuan Garden was crowned the cocktail king for his Italian apéritif-inspired drink, the “Benedetto,” a mix of Carpano dry vermouth, Aperol, Amontillado Sherry, grapefruit juice, and orange bitters with a dash of salt. (His winning recipe is below.) Runner-up honor went to Patrick Andrew of Bar Tek-Nique, who went for a Tiki-style cocktail he called “Two Roads Diverged,” with Genever, Campari, Carpano Antica vermouth, lemon juice, and grated cinnamon.
Guests were able to taste all the featured cocktails at the after party, held at the Lucky Dog in Beverly. Check out this amazing group of bartenders and be sure to ask for their cocktail creation next time you stop in.
“The Bridge & Tunnel Bash” Featured Bar-Stars:
Sean Maher, Barrel House American Bar – “Hole in the Wall”
Matt Willis, The Lucky Dog – “Tony’s Negroni”
Dan MaClean, Salt Kitchen and Rum Bar – “Staggered Equilibrium”
Erica Petersiel, Palmer’s Marblehead – “The Conquest”
Patrick Andrew, Bar Tek-Nique – “Two Roads Diverged”
Matt Rose, Short & Main – “Torino Imperial”
Charlie Gaeta , The Blue Ox – “L’Uccello”
Kevin Halinan, Soma – “The Devil’s Relapse”
Brett Henderson, Ceia Kitchen + Bar, Brine – “Rhuby & Smoke”
Ramona Shah, Opus – “The Eleventh Hour”
Mel Filgerleski – The Bancroft – “So…What’s Your Major?”
Joel Atlas – The Baldwin Bar at Sichuan Garden – “Benedetto”
RECIPE | Benedetto
1.5 oz. Carpano dry vermouth
1 oz. Aperol
½ oz. Amontillado Sherry
1 bar spoon grapefruit juice
2 dashes of orange bitters
Stir all ingredients in a rocks glass with one large ice cube until well-chilled. Add a pinch of Kosher salt on top.