| Booze |

Help a Houston Bartender Prepare for National Competition and Get a Great Deal on Cocktails

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

To help one of its bartenders prepare for a big national competition in New York, Bad News Bar is offering a four-for-$25 cocktail special from 8 p.m. to midnight every Tuesday between now and May 17.

The bartender: Elyse Blechman. The competition: Speed Rack.

Only female bartenders can compete in Speed Rack, and the events raise money for breast cancer charities. Regional competitions are held all around the United States. Blechman actually lost her round at Speed Rack San Antonio. However, thanks to popular-choice voting for wild-card competitors, she has a chance at redeeming herself at the national competition, in New York on May 22.

That means practice, practice, practice. The goal in Speed Rack is to make four different cocktails orderd at random by judges. However, the drinks can’t be just thrown together. Points are deducted for cocktails that are out of balance, in the wrong glass or missing garnishes. For a bartender to win, her cocktails have to taste good, too.

Competitors have to memorize dozens of cocktail recipes ahead of time in order to be prepared for whatever the judges might throw at them. Some are classic recipes. Some of the drinks that could be called for are not well known. (Has anyone ever actually ordered a Caricature Cocktail?)

The four-for-$25 special means that the cocktail prices average out to $6.25 each and that a couple could each have two cocktails, or a group of four could have one a piece. Not usually part of a group? Well, bars are places for making friends, so perhaps you’ll be able to bond with your fellow customers and go in together on a round of drinks.

Eligible cocktails for the special are on a rather long list kept at the bar, and the selection includes time-honored classics like Last Word, Whiskey Sour, Hemingway Daiquiri and the Vieux Carré.

The best way to keep up Blechman's status during the Speed Rack competition on May 22 is via the Facebook page

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.