A Pair of Dallas Rum Shakers Take Manhattan

BothWinners.jpg
Lauren Drewes Daniels
Abraham Bebell and Dave Mayer are tiki champs. Make us proud, guys. You're the face of Dallas.
So, two guys are sitting at a bar -- one is a priest, the other is a carpenter. A guy in a starched shirt hands them each a shot of rum, which they drink...

This past Wednesday, DonQ Rum hosted a little event at The Cedars Social to find Dallas' top mixologists. There were two different categories and the prize for each was an all-expense paid trip to New York to compete in the 2011 Manhattan Cocktail Contest. The competition was designed to showcase innovative drinks using DonQ rum, fresh seasonal produce and a lot of creativity -- all with a tiki theme.

Perhaps I don't get out enough because I had no idea there were tiki bartending competitions, much less tiki bartender specialists. Honestly, I thought tiki was a theme at Party City. And a running back. Evidently, though, there is a whole movement centered on creating these fancy drinks with a wide variety of ingredients.

Dave Mayer won first place in the category of "Fancy Spirited Cocktails with a House Made Ingredient." He's coined his fruit and rum based toddy "The Back to the Island aka The Master of Space and Time." Yes, really. I asked him twice for verification and that was absolutely, in fact, without a doubt what he said. Evidently he's a huge Leon Russell fan.

I asked Winner Dave, who had a likeness to the watermelon-smashing comedian Gallagher, if he competes in drink-slinging contests often.

"No, not really," He shrugged. "A friend just told me this was a tiki contest and I had to show up. I mean, see my clothes? This is not a costume. I dress like this every day."

He had a kicked-back island theme going that was consistent if nothing else. But, I'm proud of Winner Dave because he's a good kid and I think he'll find plenty a good time in the Big Apple.

He was kind enough to share his recipe for his "Back to the Island aka The Master of Space and Time." It's a concoction of Campari pineapple, Pernod (per•NOD for Fort Worth peeps), DonQ crystal and gold rum, Smith & Cross rum and honey syrup.

Then, there's Abraham Bebell. He won in the category of "Fruit Forward Long Drink With Garnish Focus." I think that's also a tax form; a subset of a 1040EZ, right? Can't he take an ag deduction on the garnish if he itemizes? Regardless, Winner Abraham was visibly giddy. I love to see the kids happy -- it's really all that matters. Pointing out to him that his NYC trip is less than three weeks away I asked if his schedule was clear. "It is now," he said. 'Atta boy.

Abraham's specialty drink was a piña colada that included DonQ crystal rum, heavy whipping cream, fresh pineapple, Coco Lopez, one stalk of muddled Thai basil, simple syrup and a ginger puree. There are so many natural and healthy ingredients in this, you're basically doing yourself a favor by drinking it. Breakfast, lunch or dinner. Any will do.

So people, we need to organize here. There are banners that need to be hung and signs that need to be painted. Who has some extra cardboard? Let's give our boys a grand send off to New York City for the May 13 mixology showdown. They're competing against bartenders from 13 other markets and surely they understand the consequences if Dallas is shown up by another city, particularly, but not limited to, Philadelphia.

Make us proud, you rum shakers.

Oh, and the punch line for the joke? Well, there's not one. A priest and a carpenter were both actually at the bar having drinks. The joke possibilities just seemed endless. And evidently DonQ tithes.

Follow City of Ate on Twitter: @cityofate.

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LetsTiki
LetsTiki

Tiki is a lot more than a theme at a party. Some of the most interesting cocktails with complex flavors are Tiki drinks. Tiki fell into hard times in the 80s and 90s after so many places knocked off Tiki by making lousy super sweet cocktails and calling them "Tiki". Tiki is making a strong come back as passionate people like the ones in your story go back to the original recipes, and invent their own masterpieces.

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