Battle of the Bartenders at Wasted Grain
On July 27th, I joined fellow media at Wasted Grain in Old Town Scottsdale to sip, sample, and help choose the special cocktail at Wasted Grain’s Battle of the Bartenders. Facing off were one of my favorite couples, Richie Moe and his girlfriend Tara Thorpe.
As the participants shook and stirred, we were treated to complimentary bites from the Wasted Grain menu:
Richie, well-known in the industry scene as one of Arizona's premiere cocktail gurus, is currently mixing it up at Crab & Mermaid, and talented Tara can be found behind the bar at Wasted Grain. Richie welcomed the crowd, promising a light-hearted and friendly competition. "It's fun for us to get together, and although we're saying it's a cocktail competition, it's all in good fun. We love working together."
Tara started with a light and bright Cucumber Cooler with Deep Eddy cucumber vodka, pressed cucumber juice, and fresh-squeezed lemonade, "It's quick, easy, and fun."
She then moved on to the beautifully garnished Flower Child with Tito's vodka, St. Germain, and fresh lemon and passion fruit juice, and ended with the refreshing Barbie Girl with Patron tequila, Citronge, lime juice and opalescent swirls of pearl dust.
Next up was Richie, beginning with his signature Smoked Maple Manhattan with Maker's Mark, maple syrup, and tobacco bitters. He finished his trio with an effervescent Ginger Fizz with Canton Ginger liqueur, vodka, yuzu, and bitter lemon soda garnished with sugarcane, and the Southern Peach with rye, lemonade, peach liqueur and puree, and a drizzle of pomegranate syrup.
After the votes were tallied......congratulations to Richie! It was close, with Tara's Flower Child the runner-up by two points. Richie's Smoked Maple Manhattan can now be found on Wasted Grain's cocktail menu, so stop in and see why it's a winner.
Wasted Grain is located at 7295 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, and also features live music, and a second-floor dance club and lounge called 100 Proof.