Food & Drink » Beer & Drink

Better Than the Rest

"You can stop training," my coach said to me. "The contest is off." I put down my weighted shaker, took my headphones off, wiped the sweat from my brow and looked up in disbelief.

by

comment

thumb_cocktailing_crater-lake-shot.jpg

"You can stop training," my coach said to me. "The contest is off." I put down my weighted shaker, took my headphones off, wiped the sweat from my brow and looked up in disbelief.

The suicide drills between the kitchen and the bar, squats on full cases of beer, lunges with magnum Champagne bottles in each hand, and shaking drills have filled up my free time - and for what? There would be no Best Bartender Category this year in the Source's Best of Bend issue.

"There's just not been that much interest," said the editor.

I immediately thought about Lance Armstrong and how he created a new spectacle in American cycling. I wondered if perhaps it was my duty to create more energy and excitement in the Bend bartender scene. (Would it have been helpful if the bartenders of Bend had worn little brown rubber bracelets to bring attention to cirrhosis of the liver?)

It's always a fascinating competition; there are no rules, other than being a professional bartender. You can win because of personality, speed, efficiency, style, hairstyle, or because you can balance 15 pint glasses on the top of your head while riding a unicycle and throwing flaming shakers in the air. The letdown of not even being able to compete is greater than not winning.

"What's next?" I asked my coach. He looked as baffled as I was. But we both agreed on this: this was the one time of the year where this profession got some glory. That all of us who were supposed to become doctors and lawyers, but who are still slinging drinks got notoriety for a week. Now that it's gone, well, it feels a little sad.

So I declare this week, The Week of The Bend Bartender, because there's no doubt that you deserve it. Come on down, I'll buy you a drink.

Congratulations!

1 chilled shot of Crater Lake Vodka

Editor's note: Columbine Quillen bar tends, and bar tends well, at the Blacksmith Restaurant and Lounge in downtown Bend. She is a former Source Weekly Reader's Choice for best bartender in Central Oregon.

Speaking of Cocktailing

Latest in Beer & Drink

Add a comment

More by Source Weekly

  • Little Bites: Thanksgiving Dinner is Served! Restaurants that will cook for you on Thursday

    Little Bites: Thanksgiving Dinner is Served! Restaurants that will cook for you on Thursday

    While many of us are going to be slaving over stoves, stuffing, brining or the always fun deep-frying our butterball turkeys this Thursday, there are options for those who don't feel like sticking their hands in the cavity of a 20-pound bird or cutting up the neck to stew some gravy. For all of you who would rather have a skilled chef prepare your fixins, here's a list of restaurants serving Thanksgiving Dinner, courtesy of Visit Bend.
    • Nov 16, 2017
  • More »