Every year, a handful of the Southwest's top bartenders come to the Valley to compete in a head-to-head competition called Last Slinger Standing. This year, five teams of four bartenders from Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico will take the stage at Culinary Dropout at The Yard at Farmers Arts District to vie for a chance to win the Centennial Cup, a cash prize, and a donation to the winner's U.S. Bartenders Guild chapter.
Arizona's team represents bartenders from both Phoenix and Tucson, each of whom earned their coveted spot after months of in-state competitions. The Arizona preliminaries were held on Thursday, November 30, at Crudo in Central Phoenix. Here are the final teams:
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David Clark (Hotel Congress, Tucson)
Tim LaFever (Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, Phoenix)
Matt Martinez (OBON Sushi & Ramen, Tucson)
Clint Spotleson (Counter Intuitive, Phoenix)
Chad Michael George (Avanti F&B/The Way Back, Denver)
Les Baker V. (Star Bar, Denver)
Allison Widdecombe (Williams & Graham, Denver)
Philip Dow (Monte Carlo Casino, Las Vegas)
Eric Hobbie (Giada @ The Cromwell, Las Vegas)
Alex Penalosa (Hakkasan, Las Vegas)
Jessica Westergom (The Sand Dollar, Las Vegas)
David Hernandez (Zacatecas Tacos & Tequila, Albuquerque)
Chris Milligan (Secreto Lounge, Santa Fe)
Andrew David Roy (Coyote Café/Radish & Rye, Santa Fe)
Michael Sebree (Radish & Rye, Santa Fe)
Michael Eccleston (Bar X, Salt Lake City)
Amy Eldredge (Under Current, Salt Lake City)
Adam "Scoop" Kaessner (Bar X/Gibson Lounge, Salt Lake City)
Steven "Frankie" Mealy (Whiskey Street, Salt Lake City)
The Last Slinger Standing competition well be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Monday, February 15, at Culinary Dropout at The Yard at Farmers Arts District as part of Arizona Cocktail Week, which runs from Saturday, February 13, to Sunday, February 21. Tickets to the competition are complimentary but must be reserved online.
For more information about Arizona Cocktail Week, visit the Arizona Cocktail Week website.
Editor's Note: This post has been updated from its original version.