Dubbed "Shaken," the competition will feature 32 South Florida bartenders who will go toe-to-toe in an eleven-round single-elimination contest.
What brings people back to their favorite bars? According to Shprintz, it's not just the drinks, the prices, or even the atmosphere. It's usually their favorite bartender.
"And that's what we are looking to showcase in this amazing new competition," says Shprintz. "Not only will the bartenders be making outrageous cocktails, but they will be judged on personality under pressure. We have lined up some of the best talent here in South Florida and are looking forward to challenging and rewarding them."
To help get shaking, Hagen and Shprintz have partnered with Bob Higginbotham, creator of the Max Group's Bar Brawls, as well as Bar Wars creator and Myschyf brand ambassador Rob Husted.
The official Shaken draw party will kick off at 6 p.m. on Monday, August 29, at Tiki 'Ono in Lake Worth. The weekly competition will begin at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13, and will run for 11 consecutive weeks at various locations throughout Palm Beach County.
Early confirmed participants in the inaugural event include: Matthew Swig (Regional Kitchen and Public House), Josh Gates (Tiki ‘Ono), Jessie Bell (CWS and El Camino), James Hartmann (Ian’s Tropical Grill), Nikos Mantzaridis (Beaker and Gray), Justin Himmelbaum (Mucho Gusto), Brian Sassen (Repour), Mike Gigler (Honey), Robert Dolder (Jardin), Ayme Harrison (Kreepy Tiki), John Fitzpatrick (32 East), Jeffrey Creegan (Caffe Martier), Erika Watkins (Caffe Martier), Tennette Shumaker (the Cooper), Brett Robertson (Kapow), and Tiffini Grant (Apiero).
"The buzz on Shaken is already stirring, with a number of esteemed bars and restaurants already onboard to host events," said Higginbotham, the event host. "By having the top bartenders, distinguished judges, and vibrant locations, Shaken will be the most exciting and entertaining bartending competition South Florida has ever seen."
Half of all ticket sales from Shaken events will benefit the No Kid Hungry campaign, a nonprofit dedicated to ending child hunger in America. Visit the Shaken Facebook page for updates and event locations.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the New Times Food & Drink Instagram.