Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2008 Papa Doble Bartender Beard Off part 2

Continued from previous post. Yea, I know, a bit indulgent of me.

Now that I've had some time to think about what transpired, I wanna go back and talk about the drinks a bit. Now yea, I like beards and stuff, but that's not the only reason why I enjoyed the beard off. I also enjoyed it because I was able to close out a year with an event that had a group of good drinks (see previous post to download all the drinks and their recipes). Again, speaking from the three that I mentioned previously, Joaquin's Latin Quarter (Flor de Caña 18yr, sugar cane syrup, Peychaud bitters, Bittermen's mole bitters, Deragon bitters, absinthe rinse) was an interesting mix of flavorful and aromatic and really clean and refreshing at the same time.

Allen's Beaver Puss (Flor de Caña 7yr, Allen's NY Apple Liquer, fresh grapefruit, Meyer Lemon Molasses, egg, garnished with apple and nutmeg had apple liqueur and grapefruit in it, but it wasn't really a fruity drink. In fact the presence of molasses and nutmeg made it more like...caramel? Toffee? I think part of that sort of coffee/toffee flavor came from the Flor de Cana as well. I got to try a bit of both the 18 and 7 year on their own, and both had a sort of understated toasty, coffee-like thing going on in the background.

And Brian's My Oh My Ty (Flor de Caña 7yr, La Favorite Blanc, lime, simple syrup, orgeat syrup, Creole Shrub, absinthe) was a bit of an experience because at the first sip it made me kind a go "Whoa, wait, what's happening?" in sort of a shock of flavors. I found that with each cautious sip to figure out what was going on, they were actually turning into gulps. It grew on you awful fierce.

And I listed the second B as being bartenders, but really, it was a great crowd in general. All kinds of folks stopped by. Sasha Petraske, Eben Klemm, even Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver was present. There were even folks from out of town who'd lighted upon New York for this event. Jeff Grdinich came down from New Hampshire to bear witness.

The contestants were being judged for several categories. Obviously one of them was length. Then there was also absorbability, touchability, style and etiquette.

In length, there was a tie for the runner-up position between Brian Miller and Phil Ward who both clocked in at 9cm. Allen Katz won with a whopping 12cm with a tight and dense beard that betrayed its true length. For the Asian Afro league, Don Lee managed to beat out Daniel Eun with 7cm.

The touchability part was more of a popularity contest in a way, since it demanded audience participation. People wandered around the bar feeling the beards of the contestants and cast ballots for their favorite.

The "Beardos," as they were referred to throughout the evening, got behind the bar for the absorbability test. Each contestant had to dip their beard for ten seconds in a container with a quart of beer and the remaining liquid was measured. For the Asian Afro contestants, unfortunately, it was a bucket of water. Though I could see how I'd be torn between thinking how hilarious it is that there is a bucket of beer and sad that it is a bucket of beer that would have to be thrown out.

I wasn't satisfied with Don's head dunking technique and thought he could've shoved his head in a bit more, and in the end I was proven correct when Daniel took the prize for most absorbent head of Asian Afro hair in the room. For the Beardos, Mayur Subbarao and Allen Katz tied for third, Joaquin Simo second and Phil Ward first.

For etiquette some chili dogs were procured from Crif Dogs just a couple of blocks up the road. Contestants were to eat without the use of a napkin, and at the same time down some very frothy Ramos Gin Fizzes.

I'm...I'm not exactly sure what the judging criteria for this was. I think it was some variation of the Blackpool Handkerchief Swab Test introduced by Eliazar Huffenpuffen, a gentlemen who was quite trusted for all matters style, during the 87th Annual Drone's Club Flaneur Fete. Hunffenpuffen accused George "Banjo" Barrington of not being a true man about town thanks to the disgraceful state of his moustache. However, before any of the other club members could turn around and see what all the commotion was about, Banjo faked a sneeze to wipe his face. Huffenpuffen went into an apoplectic fit and the only thing that redeemed his reputation was the fact that his valet Xavier picked up the discarded handkerchief (a nice monogrammed square of cloth that anyone should be sort lose) and quite accidentally displayed the soiled side to the room as he asked Banjo whether or not the handkerchief was his.

The above is a load of crock, but indeed a napkin was involved at the end. A dab to see how much came off the hirsute faces. For the Afro contestants, they balanced a book on their head as they tried to make daiquiris. Joaquin Simo won for the Beards and Daniel Eun for the Afros.

The belle of the ball of the events had to be the fashion show. And everyone pretty much went all out. It seemed like Don and Daniel had agreed to make this portion a dance off of sorts since Daniel b-boyed and Don discoed his way down the impromptu runway created by the crowd clearing the floor of Death and Co. Joaquin Simo created a whole accompanying video for his James Bond, er, Beard, inspired runway walk, employing his fiance Rhea Wong as deadly Bond Girl who can't help but find herself drawn to the mysterious man's facial topiary. Mayur powdered his beard for his Santa-themed performance, but then began to strip out of it to the crowd's shrieks, only to have it die down to strangely disappointed "awwws" when they realized he was wearing a smart suit underneath. Phil Ward however, took the cake for theatrics with his appearance as Jesus Christ (costume change number two, if you're following along from the previous post). Not only did he pull out huge enormous cross from out of nowhere, he got friends to act as people needed healing and I have no idea where that one dude was hiding the wheelchair.

Phil won the beard fashion show.

The touchability ballots were all counted and Phil won that as well. And with that the overall winners were announced. For the beards it was Brian Miller in third, Phil Ward in second, and living up to crowd expectations, Allen Katz took first.
Don Lee won the honor of overall awesome Asian afro.

Daniel said he wants to go on the record that he was robbed. He won more categories than Don.

Oh, and what was Phil's third and final costume change? After everything was over, he came out to the bar clad only in boxers to serve drinks. I also want my readers to know that I have photos of said sight and am willing to part with them for a small fee.

As part of his acceptance speech, Allen Katz said, "This is my first beard...and I feel like keeping it for a while." In fact, I got an email from Don earlier this week asking me if I'd seen the new version of Allen's beard. It was now in a Franz Josef style.

Stay golden, pony boy. Stay golden.

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