By Nick BeJeaux
For the first time in the history of Bar Fight, Melissa Cleaver of Boudreaux and Thibodeaux’s has been named this week’s champion.
Bar Fight is a Chopped-style bartending competition where the best and brightest in BR’s bartending scene create cocktails using mystery ingredients to compete for the title of Champion and bragging rights for the week. The competition is split into three rounds, each round has two mystery ingredients that the bartenders must incorporate into original cocktails, and who advances is determined by votes from the audience.
Cleaver competed against Chris Pappas of The Pelican House and Alex Leigh of Duvic’s Martini Bar and Olive or Twist. Joey Goar of The Cove was scheduled to compete, but was unable to attend this week’s competition. In the final round of the copmpetition, Cleaver went head to head with Pappas, who has dominated the competition before.
“The last time I did Bar Fight the final round was against Chris,” said Cleaver. “We’ve always been really good sports about it. We talked before and we decided we just wanted to have fun. It feels good to win though.”
Cleaver and her competition had to manage Monin’s lavender syrup and spicy ginger soda (round one), raw coconut butter and imitation rum extract (round two), and Mott’s applesauce and Blueberry green tea syrup (round three) into three cocktails for the crowd to judge.
“My first drink was the worst,” she said. “I didn’t try the ginger soda—I figured it was just like ginger beer, and it was not at all. So that kinda messed up my first drink.”
Cleaver struggled during the second round too, but managed to produce a drink the crowd liked.
“The coconut butter was really hard to work with—it was hard and difficult to get out of the container,” she said.
But by the end, Cleaver had gotten into her groove.
“My best was definitely the last,” she said. “I really liked it and I know a lot of people did too. I was trying to go for a blueberry apple pie flavor.”
Tickets for next Sunday’s Bar Fight will be on sale at DigBatonRouge.com. Keep an eye out for more information, including which bartenders will be mixing it up, coming soon!