Bartender Competitions and Challenges are not only opportunities for bartenders to flex and show off their tremendous skills behind the stick, they are also incredible ways to build bridges in connectivity and community within the industry. 1 Hotel Nashville created the Bartender Battles program, hosted at their rooftop bar Harriet’s and powered by PATRÓN to showcase the incredible caliber of local talent.Bartenders from Nashville’s top hotels, bars and restaurants faced off in a month-long weekly knock-out bracket style competition with each bartender being tasked to create and serve up an original sustainable, cocktail crafted with PATRÓN Reposado Tequila. For each round, Bartenders who advanced were required to come up with a new sustainable PATRÓN Reposado cocktail.
Harrison Deakin, beverage manager at 1 Hotel Nashville gives us some insight into the 1 Hotel Nashville Bartender Battles:
Why did Harriet’s & 1 Hotel Nashville decide to put together the Bartender Battles Program?
We wanted to put on a fun event for the city that combined our love for great cocktails and sustainability, while also encouraging friendly competition between Music City’s best mixologists.
How were Bartenders selected to be part of Bartender Battles?
We invited bartenders from Nashville’s top hotels, restaurants and bars to participate in the competition, all with a high level of experience and skill in crafting unique cocktails.
Tell us about the Partnership with Patrón.
Other than being one of the world’s best tequilas, PATRÓN is just as dedicated to sustainability and their environmental impact as our hotel is. PATRÓN has developed a state-of-the-art water treatment system to reclaim clean water from their tequila production, and they’re also the first tequila distillery to install a natural gas pipeline as a main energy source, which helps reduce CO2 emissions. They create 5,500 tons of fertilizer compost a year from leftover agave fibers from their production process at the Hacienda PATRÓN distillery, reforested about 16,000 trees in their local community of Atotonilco el Alto, Jalisco, and transplanted 3,000 lime trees—rather than cutting them down—to make room for an expansion project. All of these factors, and others, made them the perfect partner for this competition.
What makes the Bar Community in Nashville so special?
Nashville is a very small, tight-knit community, and this goes for the hospitality scene as well. Bartenders in Nashville collaborate, learn from one another, and celebrate each other’s successes, creating a community that fosters growth and creativity. The bartenders here also take pride in the city, and showcase this by using local and regional ingredients and paying homage to some of the things that make Nashville so special.
Why is sustainability so important to the 1 Hotel Nashville?
We are built off a simple idea: the world around us is beautiful and we want to keep it that way. With nature as our true north, sustainability comes naturally, and we allow nature to continuously realign us with our mission. All of our plants are maintained at a local greenhouse, dishes are seasonally crafted with local ingredients, and shared spaces around the property emulate the local culture. Ultimately, 1 Hotels commitment to sustainability is designed to spark change in the ever-growing industry of hospitality.
Looking back at Bartender Battles, what are you most proud of from the program?
We are most proud of the sustainability aspect of the competition. Hopefully, everyone who judged, attended, and participated in Bartender Battles walked away with a little bit more of an understanding about the importance of sustainability, and the environmental impact of what we eat and drink can have on the world. By partnering with PATRÓN, another like-minded brand, and requiring each cocktail to have sustainable elements, we were able to put on a fun event that also left a positive mark on the city and brought the community together.
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