Savannah Food and Wine Fest Blog

Meet the Bartenders Challenge Competitors



Growing up in the Savannah area I know that we got great southern charm, restaurants and bars. We have some awesome bartenders in our local area. Come cheer on your favorite bartender at the Secret Savannah Speakeasy at 8 pm November 9th. Paul Rabe, the defending 2016 champion, works at Calhoun’s and at Lucky Rooster Kitchen & Bar, won two separate categories this year. Guests will get to vote for the People’s Choice award for best cocktail at the Speakeasy. The People’s Choice winner will receive a trophy and $200. The bartenders selected for the final round – as well as their cocktail recipes – are listed below.

Bartender: Paul Rabe of Calhoun’s, Bluffton, SC
Cocktail: Farrier’s Reward
Official Tequila: Herradura Tequila
2 oz Herradura Reposado Tequila
1 oz Amontillado Sherry
.75 Spiced Tepache
.25 2:1 Demerara Syrup
Combine ingredients in mixing glass.
Stir and strain into coupe spritzed with VIDA Mezcal.
Garnish with dehydrated pineapple flower.

Bartender: Tiffani Williams of Five Oaks Taproom, Savannah, GA  
Cocktail: Controlling My Jager
Official Liqueur: Jagermeister
1 part Jagermeister
1 part Tanqueray Gin
1 part Lillet Rouge
.5 part Honey Syrup
2 dashes Lemon Bitters
Stir, strain, enjoy.

Bartender: Kyle Law, Alley Cat Lounge, Savannah, GA
Cocktail: Cherry Blossom
Official Vodka: Tito’s Handmade Vodka
2 oz Tito’s Handmade Vodka
.5 oz Maraschino Liqueur
1 bsp Campari
3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Build in mixing glass, stir with ice until well chilled.
Pour into a chilled coupe.
Garnish with a grapefruit twist


Bartender: Jason Graham of Congress Street Up, Savannah, GA
Cocktail: Red Dawn
Official Gin: Opihr Gin
Opihr Gin
Koval Rose Hip Liqueur
R&W Orchard Pear

Bartender: Ahron Mack, The Lone Wolf Lounge, opening soon, Savannah, GA
Cocktail: San Patricios
Official Whiskey: The Dubliner Irish Whiskey
2 oz The Dubliner Irish Whiskey
2 oz Freixenet Brut
1/8 oz Agave Solution (2:1)
1/8 oz Lime
½ Dropper Devil’s Lauder Bitter Orange Bitters
½ Pinch Scorpion Salt
2 Spritz Mezcal
Pinch salt into pint or beaker, drop in lime and pop with muddler.
Add bitters, agave and whiskey, then swirl for 20-30 seconds – no ice!
Single strain into large shot glass.
Pour brut into small coup.
Add ice block to rocks glass and spritz with mezcal.
Serve all three glasses at once, sampling shot, then champagne, then combine over ice.

Bartender: Jim McCourt, Prohibition, Savannah, GA
Official Rum: Pusser’s Rum
Cocktail: Pursers Ration
Pusser’s Rum
Cinnamon Syrup
Fresh Lemon Juice
Egg White
Add all ingredients to a shaker, add ice and shake hard.
Fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with freeze-dried strawberry.

Bartender: Paul Rabe, Lucky Rooster Kitchen & Bar, Hilton Head Island, SC

Official Bourbon: Four Roses Bourbon
Cocktail: Midnight Masala
1 oz Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
1 oz Amontillado Sherry
.5 oz Sibona Camomilla
2 oz Clarified Chai
Combine ingredients in mixing glass and stir for 10 revolutions or 5 secs.
Strain neat into punch glass or over large cube in an old fashioned.
Express and discard lemon peel.
Garnish with dehydrated lemon wheel.


Sip, Party and Vote

Reminiscent of Savannah’s Prohibition heydays, the Speakeasy will feature hand-crafted cocktails, craft brews, some of Savannah’s best restaurants and music from Laiken Love & Fellowship of Love band.

Tickets to the Speakeasy are $85 per person or $79 per person if purchased by October 31st. There is limited availability for advance tickets. Get your tickets to Secret Savannah Speakeasy before it is sold out here at:

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