Last week, bartenders from Hard Rock Cafes across the Central and Western regions of the United States gathered in Hollywood to compete in the semi-finals for a chance to become the Global BARocker Champion of 2015. I was thrilled to be part of the judging panel, along with Hard Rock Cafe's Master Mixologist Cindy Busi, Bacardi's Brian Loukmas, and Southern Wine & Spirit's Armando Rosario. Rosario stood up on the stage to get an up close view of the action, and the rest of us sat behind the audience on a platform with a clear view of the contestants. The competitors were judged on their performance, drink execution, crowd engagement, precision, and drink accuracy. All three cocktails were Hard Rock Cafe signature drinks that are favorites all over the world.
The competition was tough! All of the bartenders were highly skilled mixologists with lots of talent, personality, and confidence. Bottles were tossed high up in the air and liquids were poured into shakers at forty-five degree angles, all while each participant worked hard to engage and motivate the crowd. Not so easy to do when you've only got three minutes to perfectly execute three drinks with one-hundred people watching.
I was beyond impressed with each of the men and women who got up there to battle for a chance to compete in Orlando at the Globals later this month. Congratulation to everyone who made it this far, and good luck to all of you who made it to the final round. We can't wait to meet the new champion!