Yelp Miami Pours It On: Finale
The kid gloves were off. The time for reckoning (or, drinking fantastic cocktails) was upon us. Just who would reign supreme in the Yelp Pours It On finale aka battle of wits and bitters? At the beginning of the evening, no one knew for sure. The only thing guests did know — as soon as they walked into the Downtown beauty known as Avenue D — they were in for a Tanteo-tanic treat of treats.
You might recall that the drinks being served up this evening were mighty, indeed. Not only were they packed with flavor and crafted with skill, they’d beaten out 12 other cocktails to make it to the finals. From Battle I, The Social Club’s Chad Phillips was certain of his Seven Types of Ambiguity. Sugarcane’s Jamal Giles bested his field with the aptly named Cantaloupe Smoke. It was the Battle II victor. And, fresh off a win (from just a week prior) Juan Gonzalez made guests and judges alike want to travel for his Inca Swizzle. The cocktail was the top of Battle III’s field and SushiSamba Coral Gables was all the prouder for it. Judges Jorge Arauz, Allegra Angelo and Nick Pena stepped up to figure it all out.
So as to keep things fresh, there were some new elements incorporated into the Finale. You have to go big, right? In this case, ‘big’ was a flavor reference. Yardbird Southern Table & Bar brought the house down with their famous chicken & biscuits. Fried chicken and honey biscuits never tasted so good. Gilbert’s Bakery raised the roof with cake shots: bites of chocolate and vanilla cake guests could pair with decadent topping sauces like bananas foster and salted caramel. Capture Pod photobooth worked their magic with period-friendly props and shots. And, the music of the Seth Woods Trio filled the air and hypnotized guests (in a good way, of course).
After a while, the moment a month in the making was here. Winning an engraved bartender’s kit, VIP tickets to the South Beach Seafood Festival, bragging rights, publicity as the featured bartender at the Yelp installation at the Sobe Seafood Festival, and the title of Yelp Pours It On mixologist of 2013 was (drumroll, please) Juan Gonzalez of SushiSamba Coral Gables. His Inca Swizzle made up of cocoa Tanteo Tequila, white cacao liqueur (Briottet), lemon, sugar syrup, chocolate bitters, and julienned lemon zests delighted judges and guests and brought home the win. But there was one more winner to be named: the People’s Choice. During the month of September, the cocktail that sparked the most tequila love was Sugarcane’s Cantaloupe Smoke. Check out Alex H's photos here and Capture Pod's here. Guests wrote their impressions here. Congrats to both and thanks to all who made Yelp Pours It On a smash success.
Resting his liver,