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South Bay Mixologists Go Head To Head For Iron Bartender

In Clubs

A few years ago, you couldn’t have done an Iron Bartender competition in the South Bay. Or rather, you could have, but few would have cared. Slowly, though, the mixology madness that swept New York, L.A. and San Francisco has changed the mindset of bartenders here, too.

“People want to show their skills now,” says Fahrenheit’s Steven Renteria, organizer of the Iron Bartender contest. “rather than just say ‘I pour vodka crans.’”

Fahrenheit already has an Industry Monday event, so Iron Bartender was originally conceived as a way for local bartenders to entertain themselves.

“We just wanted to add a little friendly competition,” says Renteria.

Four bartenders will face off every first Monday of the month, beginning July 2. They’ll use a sponsored alcohol (the first one is Ketel vodka), and—in the grand tradition of Iron Chef—a secret ingredient. They’ll be asked to create three different cocktails—one on the rocks, one up/strained, and one of their own choosing.

The bartenders will be judged by a panel of three on originality, presentation and taste. There will be a weekly cash prize (“a couple hundred dollars,” says Renteria) and each week’s winner gets a spot in the finals Nov. 5.

“I know we have a lot of talented bartenders here,” says Renteria. “Some of these guys consider themselves real mixologists.”

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