Papa’s Pilar Rum sponsored a “Battle of the Bars” competition with the bars inside of the Anaheim Packing House. The festivities started at the Hammer Workshop & Bar with featured cocktails made by the four competing mixologists for the public to enjoy and vote as the People’s Choice.
King Crimson featured Papa’s Pilar blonde, Campari, hibiscus, lime, pineapple, and black cardamom. This cocktail had a tropical fruity flavor. The hibiscus gave it a vibrant purple color. The pineapple leaf presentation was very decorative. Rating: 4.3/5
Cuban with Italian Eyes featured Papa’s Pilar blonde, Gancia Americano, lemon, grapefruit, sugar, spice, and orange oil. This cocktail had tropical fruity flavor with a citrus sour note. It was smooth and slightly sweet. Rating: 3.9/5
Upside Down Pineapple Rum Cake featured Papa’s Pilar blonde, pineapple cake batter, hazelnut tincture, maple syrup, pineapple gomme, fresh pineapple, cinnamon, nutmeg, and grilled pineapple. This really tasted like a pineapple upside down cake with hints of a rum cake. The flavors were subtle and not overbearing. Aroma is reminiscent of the winter holidays. Rating: 3.5/5
The “Battle of the Bars” competition was set up like an episode of “Chopped”. Each mixologist had one secret ingredient and one of Papa’s Pilar rums that needed to be incorporated into the cocktail. They had the “pantry” of liqueurs, juices, and other ingredients at the Hammer Workshop & Bar to work with. Each round was 6 minutes long to make their cocktail. Judging was based on the Name of the Cocktail, Presentation, Originality, Taste, Judge and Audience Engagement, and Timeliness (5 bonus points for every 30 seconds under 6 minutes). The judges’ panel consisted of: John White from Young's Market Company, Lindsey Kops from Papa Pilar’s, Chelsea Madren a.k.a. OC Food Diva, and Emily Delicce, mixologist and High Society Papa’s Pilar Champion.
Round 1: Steve Garcia from Urbana vs. Don Domingue from Ecco. The secret ingredient for this round was the Mexican guava. Don named his creation, “South of Cuba”. Steve named his creation, “Chariot of the Gods”. The author scored it very close with Don scoring 80 out of 100 and Steve scoring 72 out of 100. The overall round win went to Steve and he advanced to the final round.
Round 2: Lucie Wood from Hammer Workshop & Bar vs. Robert Adamson from The Blind Rabbit. The secret ingredient for this round was the champagne mango. Robert named his creation, “Mango on Fire”. Lucie name her creation, “Fight Fire with Fire”. The author also scored this one very close with Robert scoring 90 out of 100 and Lucie scoring 86 out of 100. The overall round win went to Lucie and she advanced to the final round.
Final Round: Lucie Wood vs. Steve Garcia. The secret ingredient for this final round was pepper jelly. Steve name his creation, “I Give Up”. Lucie named her creation, “Shot Through the Heart” (“and you’re to blame. You give love a bad name.” You know the song!) The author also score this one very close with Steve scoring 67 out of 100 and Lucie scoring 78 out of 100. Lucie also claimed some extra bonus points for timeliness.