Nashville Lifestyles Bartender Bash 2012

This post also appeared in The Tennessean, where I have a monthly feature in the Taste section!


Call it a cocktail enthusiast’s dream come true. Wine lovers have wine tastings. Beer drinkers have beer fests. Nashville cocktail connoisseurs have Bartender Bash!

An event like no other, the Nashville Lifestyles Bartender Bash, to be held at Union Station Hotel on Wednesday, August 29th, will provide guests with samplings of unique liquid creations from some of our city’s most talented bartenders.

Does proclaiming this event my favorite make me sound like a bit of a lush? I hope not, but if it does, then so be it; call me a lush! In my defense, there are other components to the evening that I enjoy just as much as the alcohol – delicious hors d’oeuvres, fantastic live music, and of course, the company of good friends.

While the night is full of fun, there’s also a fierce competition brewing in the background. This is a contest, and the dozen or so bartenders competing are sure to bring their A game. At the end of the night there will be three awards given: Most Creative Cocktail, Best (Belvedere) Red Martini, and the People’s Choice Award.

Here’s how it works: The competing bartenders each have a station set up where they showcase two original creations. Attendees can pick and choose what they sample, trying them all if they’re so inclined. In fact, since guests cast their votes for the People’s Choice Award, the bartenders love to see people coming back for more, as that may be a sign they’re going home a winner!

Laura Bell Bundy, Ty Brown, and Me judging Bartender Bash 2010


While all this sampling is happening, at the front of the room sits a table of judges waiting for their palates to be delighted. I’ve personally had the good fortune to be a part of the judges’ panel a few times, and am happy to report that I will be again this year.

After sipping every single cocktail made by the talented mixologists, the judges make the extremely difficult decision of who has the Most Creative Cocktail and the Best Martini. I know, I know. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

Now, to address one obvious issue that could arise from all of this indulging: the dreaded hangover.

This year, a very welcome addition to the event is The Hangover Prevention Station powered by Yelp. Marcia Masulla, Nashville’s Yelp community manager said this will be the first time they’ve hosted a station like this. “We all know cocktails will be flowing throughout so we wanted to be a helpful resource and experience that would benefit everyone.”

Those clever folks will have coffee brewed by Roast, Inc., Vitamin Water to help battle dehydration, and herbal remedies from Lotus Room to clear the senses. In addition, Marcia says their Yelp Hangover Prevention Guide “will feature information on cab and chauffeured transportation options, late night bites suggestions, and morning after coffee revivals.”

Tickets for Bartender Bash are $25 in advance at, and while the website states that you can pay $30 at the door, I would definitely not count on doing that. This 21-and-older event typically sells out, so take my advice and purchase your tickets now!

Nashville Lifestyles Bartender Bash

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012
6 – 8 pm
Union Station Hotel
1001 Broadway


To get us excited for the Bash, The Palm‘s Adrian Pointer, one of this year’s competitors, shared this yummy cocktail recipe, The Pretty In Pink.

Pretty in Pink

Recipe from The Palm Nashville Bartender Adrian Pointer


2 strawberries

3 lemon wedges

2 oz Belvedere Vodka

1/2 oz Triple Sec

1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

1 oz Brut Champagne


Start with a Chilled Martini glass and fill with 1 oz of Brut Champagne

In a Tumbler:

Muddle the fruit (2 strawberries and three lemon wedges), build the rest of the ingredients listed, add crushed ice and shake vigorously.

Stain into the Martini glass that already has the champagne in it. Garnish with a Strawberry and Serve.

(Please be assured that Adrian doesn’t get any extra points for this, and this is not one of the concoctions I’ll be judging at the Bartender Bash.)

 ~Contest Closed~

The winner is #31 Tianna!

So are you excited? Well, I’ve got something that might excite you even more… a pair of tickets to the event!

To enter, all you have to do is this:


1. Leave a comment describing your favorite cocktail. (Yes, it’s that simple!)


For up to 2 additional entries, you can do either or both of the following. Note: You must leave a separate comment for each optional entry.

2.  Follow me on Twitter (@betheats) and tweet “Win a pair of tickets to @NashLifestyles Bartender Bash from @betheats!”, then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.

3.  Like Eat.Drink.Smile. on Facebook and come back and tell me you did so (or just tell me you already do if that’s the case!)


Contest ends on Sunday, August 19th at Noon Central. Once the winner is chosen, I’ll make contact via email and post it here on the blog. If they don’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll be forced to choose another, so be sure to check your email!