Bartender Shake-Off At the Taste & Style Event

by Katie Schlientz

This past Wednesday, SAVORThe Westchester‘s gourmet dining experience—hosted Westchester Magazine‘s Taste & Style event, part of this year’s Wine & Food Festival. The evening was dedicated to food and fashion, but the main event featured a Bartender Shake-Off with the county’s top mixologists.

The Rye House’s Sarah Pyles, Rivermarket Bar + Kitchen’s Emilio Ugarte, Daniel Chang from the Birch Collective, NoMa Socia’s Serena Costello, and Keven Ordonez of Mima Restaurant all competed to create the best cocktail using a Peruvian brandy called Pisco 1615.

The Bartender Shake-Off was hosted by yours truly and cocktails were judged by John Turiano (editor of Westchester Magazine), Rob Petrone (host of Fios1’s Restaurant Hunter), Wine Expert Kevin Zraly, Anthony D’Arpino (Harrison Wine Vault), and Joseph D’Arienzo (Frederick Wildman).

The contestants showed the versatility of Pisco 1615, creating a range of cocktails featuring different flavors and ingredients. The garnishes and presentation were stellar (unfortunately, as host, I missed taking photos). In the end, I was happy not to judge—all of the creations were incredible, proving these bartenders are the top in our area, but in the end, Ugarte was crowned the winner with his “Latin Lover” cocktail.

Ugarte, pictured here with Turiano, is the recipient of the 2018 Bartender Shake-Off Trophy, a $200 gift card to X20 Xaviar’s on the Hudson, and will be featured in the August issue of Westchester Magazine.

The Rivermarket team with the winning trophy.

For more photos from the evening, check out IntoxiKate on Facebook.

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