On Monday, July 18, bartenders in Harlem duked it out to reign supreme at the Uptown Battle of the Bars.

I really enjoy this event every year, it’s all about community, and you can feel the community spirit in the air. 

Uptown Battle of the Bars by Diverse Dinners

Harlem Bartenders were asked to invent two unique cocktails, one made with Hendricks Gin and the other with Belvedere Vodka. Both wonderful tipples, I’m sure you agree.

There were many that I really enjoyed, the bartenders did a great job. There was only one bartender’s cocktails I refused to let pass my lips.  Why I hear you ask? Well, it’s simple, I refuse to drink at the establishment where this particular bartender works. The last time I had a drink at this bar, they completely screwed up a very simple drink, and not just my drink, but the drinks of my two companions. I mean really!  

This was some time ago though, and I will not divulge the name of the bar, as they may’ve cleaned up their act since then. Nonetheless, their poor service and lack of basic cocktail knowledge left a bad taste in my mouth, and I just cannot bring myself to hand over my hard earned coins for what could be another disastrous palliative.

I guess the message here is… sometimes you only get one chance…

TUptown Battle of the Bars by Diverse DinnersUptown Battle of the Bars by Diverse Dinnershis chap, Leonel Dassie from 67 Orange Street, did a great job, he created a really nice vodka cocktail. Click to the picture to the right to enlarge and see the recipe.

The bartenders battled in the name of their bars for a few hours, and to further heighten the excitement, a DJ battle was orchestrated for our pleasure. It was amazing!

A very talented DJ Nina Azucar won the battle, Nina truly deserved the title. Look at the concentration on her face as the clock ticked behind her on a big screen. She had seven minutes to wow the judges, and she did!

Uptown Battle of the Bars by Diverse DinnersIt was a great Monday night out. Free drinks, community spirit, and  fantastic entertainment. 

Lana Vesselova of Mess Hall won the award of Best Uptown Bartender. I haven’t been to Mess Hall, I guess I should, and I’ll let you know what’s good.

This is the fourth (maybe fifth) year of the Uptown Battle of the Bars. I’ve been missing out, as this is only my second year in attendance. Click here for last year’s write up where you’ll see that I enjoyed a cocktail from another bartender at 67 Orange Street last year too. This must be a sign, I’ll have to visit more often, it’s so bizarre. 

I’m looking forward to Uptown Battle of the Bars 2017, I’ll be there for sure. Come along and join the fun.