Notes From Cocktail Week: Bartender Competition Results, The Savoy at the Alembic

If you’re wondering why your usual morning booze haunt is unexpectedly closed today, the answer might be that your usual bartender is sleeping off yesterday’s United States Bartenders’ Guild competition at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room. The day-long San Francisco Cocktail Week event pitted 21 local bartenders in a contest to see who could make the best original cocktail with the best form. Then at night, nine national competitors went at it.

Locally, Americano’s Ronaldo Colli won both best cocktail and best technical form prizes for his Kama Sutra, a blend of two tequilas and green Chartreuse, garnished with grapefruit rind and thyme. Unfortunately, Colli couldn’t pull off a win in the national competition, though he did nab the technical trophy there. Best cocktail went to Armando Rosario, of Las Vegas, with the Real Dill — tequila and vodka with lime juice, agave nectar, cucumber, and dill.

All the contestants placed close to one another, said local guild chapter co-founder and national vice president David Nepove. The drinks are currently judged on appearance, aroma, and taste, Nepove said, but some guild members are hoping to implement a more complex judging basis. “The industry has changed and grown so much, and our national USBG forms are almost outdated. There’s so much more that today’s palette that people look at when judging a cocktail,” He said.

Cocktail week events go on through next Monday, though they’re selling out quick. One that we like, and that you should have no problem getting to, is this Sunday’s Stomping Through the Savoy, at The Alembic. They’ll be making drinks from The Savoy Cocktail Book, by Harry Craddock, 1930. It’s also Bay to Breakers that day, so get ready for some great people watching.

Notes From Cocktail Week: Bartender Competition Results, The Savoy at the