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Inventive, unique and show stopping cocktails have been a fundamental aspect of the cocktail program at Arbella (112 W. Grand Ave) since its inception in 2016. Now, Arbella’s bar team, in partnership with Bernzomatic, the leader in blowtorches and Cutwater Spirits, is introducing a new kind of cocktail competition, Battle of the ‘Hoods: Fire, to embrace the naughty child in all of us and encourage guest bartenders to play with fire – everything our parents warned us against.

The friendly fire-focused competition kicked off on Monday, March 19 at 9 p.m. and continues with competitive rounds on Monday, April 16 and Monday, May 21. Over the course of the three events, nine local bartenders from acclaimed restaurants and bars such as Apogee, The Dawson, Harrigan’s, The Delta, Entente Proxi, GT Prime, and more will compete using a Bernzomatic torch determined by a bar skills flash challenge, a Cutwater Spirit, and a special secret ingredient. Four expert judges will determine whose fiery cocktail reigns supreme.

The spirits for each event are as follows with bartenders using either a Bernzomatic TS4000, Bernzomatic TS8000 or Bernzomatic ST2200 torch:

·      Monday, March 19: Cutwater Spiced Rum (passed)

·      Monday, April 16: Cutwater Barrel-Aged Gin

·      Monday, May 21: Cutwater White Rum

·      Championship Final Round – Monday, June 18: Cutwater Bourbon

Three bartenders will compete on each date with the winner of each round competing during the final round on Monday, June 18 for a grand prize of $750, a championship belt and unlimited bragging rights. Guests and fans will also play an integral voting role as the fan favorite from all three rounds will receive a “fan favorite” invitation to the championship round with the winner of the most popular votes in the finals receiving $250.

At the events, guests and spectators will enjoy a complimentary Cutwater Welcome Punch, samples of the competition cocktails, passed appetizers, and rotating cocktail specials. No tickets or RSVPs needed—come one, come all! 


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