Southern Wine & Spirits’ district manager Livio Lauro just completed his third term as the United States Bartenders Guild’s president. Therefore it’s safe to say that Livio knows cocktails.
- Best New Bar Tool: the Chef’n citrus squeezer. Double the leverage, double the juice. And as we know, it’s all about leverage.
- Best Up-and-Coming Mixologist: Noir Bar’s Andrew Pollard. He has a very unique style of service that shows a lot of self-confidence behind the bar. He’s so calm, so well-postured; he could serve you a quick drink or he could serve Prince Charles in white gloves. Two more words: business acumen.
- Best Free Bar Nibbles: The garlic potato chips at Nora’s. They’re free and a great complement to cocktails.
- Best New Spirit Brand/Item: Hum Liqueur, designed by Chicago USBG bartender/sommelier Adam Seger. It’s a blend of Bolivian rum, herbs and spices such as Kaffir lime, cardamom, ginger and hibiscus. It’s spicy, sweet and bitter all at the same time. There’s just a lot going on!
- Best One-Liner: Like Southern Wine & Spirits mixologist Armando Rosario always says, “Make it fresh, keep it simple.” We’ve got all these bartenders doing this geeky stuff, and then Armando shows up at a competition with nothing but his four ingredients and he wins.
- Most Comfortable Bar: Bouchon at the Venetian. There’s lots of space between the stools and at the counter. There’s something comforting about the service there. It’s so upscale, and yet the staff and the bartenders are so very welcoming. They have this unique way of making you feel at home.
- The Next Emerging Bar Trend: A refocusing on the importance of garnishes. No culinary art is closer
to bartending. Presentation means everything.