Top Shelf Cocktail Competition

Cocktails can be an interesting hobby, not only because you get to taste so many interesting concoctions, either made by oneself or by the experts making drinks for you in the local bar scene. Sometimes cocktails are interesting because of their associations, namely food. I was invited to the Top Shelf/On the Rocks Cocktail Competition by the Tipsy Texan, and it was probably the best cocktail night of my life. No, I’m not joking. Go with me here.

I’m a small-town boy who like cocktails, and this event was for society folks. Yes, I may have felt completely out of place at times, but I can talk to anyone about cocktails, and that’s what I did for three hours. The event was a part of the Grand Wine and Food Affair in Sugarland, TX and was sponsored by Stella Artois, Top Shelf Wine and Spirits, as well as ABV 400 Tequila, which makes some damn fine tequilas.

The competition featured six bartenders from Houston and Austin, who each created a cocktail featuring AGV 400 Blanco Tequila. They made one drink for each person at the competition, so I got to try six amazing cocktails, along with an ice-cold glass of Stella Artois. The event was held at the M Lounge in Sugarland, a place I had been to once before and had decided not to go back to, until this event. It changed my mind.

I wish I could go through all of the drinks, but I would prefer just to show you the pictures. Alba Huerta, a bartender from Grand Prize Bar in Houston, won first place, and Cedomil Slokar, also from Grand Prize, won second. I was most impressed with Slokar’s drink, but then my drink by Huerta didn’t feature the egg white that the judges’ drink did that probably sent it over the top. Her drink was fine, but Slokar’s was the won I loved. The float of Fernet Branca made it.

I also really enjoyed Azumi’s bartender’s entry, which featured Sriracha, one of my favorite things on earth.


It was a fun night. We ended it by going to the Crowe Bar, a seedy, dive bar where we were the only people in there and the cute waitress bought us a shot. Can’t beat that. From society to seedy, we cover it all.

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