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May the Best-Tasting Cocktail Win at Friday’s Iron Bartender Competition

The Supernova was the 2022 winning cocktail by Ali Watts and Paige Garrett. Photo provided by YAC.

The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council will host its annual Iron Bartender competition on Friday at 7 p.m. at The Powerhouse.

Join them for a night filled with special cocktails created by talented Mississippi bartenders and find out who will take home the 2023 Iron Bartender title.

The concept of this event is simple – a bartender version of Iron Chef but with a twist.

This event is an opportunity to taste unique cocktails and connect with local Mississippi bartenders.

Oxford competitors include Saint Leo, Bar Muse, El Charro Cocina & Cantina, Snackbar, The Blind Pig, GRIT, Chancellor’s House, The Coop, McEwen’s, Bouré, and Moe’s Original BBQ Penny Bar.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to taste cocktails from other restaurants across Mississippi, such as Forklift, Jobos, and Harvey’s in Tupelo, and The Porter Pub in Hattiesburg.

One week before the competition, bartenders were assigned liquor from companies such as Cathead,

Diageo, or Spiritless. The contestants are asked to create a unique cocktail of their choice to impress the judges and guests.

Bartenders will be able to win two separate awards: Iron Bartender and People’s Choice. This year’s professional judge panel includes Holly Jubera, owner of Thacker Mountain Barbecue Supply, Nature Humphries of The Local Voice, and Hayden King of Super Talk MS.

Judges and guests will not only have a chance to taste each cocktail creation, but they will also get to interact with local bartenders.

YAC’s Director, Wayne Andrews, said it was important that the bartenders share the inspiration and story behind their cocktail creations.

“Bartenders are highly encouraged to share their cocktail inspiration through storytelling during the competition. This will also provide an opportunity for the bartenders to connect with potential new customers and with other locals,” Andrews said.

Last year, Ally Watts & Paige Garrett of Harvey’s in Tupelo, took home the Iron Bartender trophy.

Their colorful cocktail was featured in the 2022 Food Issue of Invitation Oxford Magazine as well as numerous other publications celebrating the culinary arts in Mississippi.

To purchase tickets for this event, visit www.oxfordarts.com/ironbartender.

Courtesy of YAC

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