By John Hanley
Local bar Olive Or Twist held Round 4 of Bar Fight this past Sunday, this time with all in-house bartenders. The Olive Or Twist colleagues broke out the cocktail shakers for three rounds of friendly rivalry. After a near-tie after the last round, Colin Corso came out on top, earning the boxing-glove trophy and a place in next week’s Bar Fight finale.
Corso, who has worked at the bar since its opening two years ago, started off round one of Sunday’s contest working with the assigned ingredients of Taaka King Cake Vodka and mango coconut pepper jelly.
“I went with a spiced rum just because I didn’t want to go with anything fruity or anything too light,” he said. “[I used] some lime juice to bring it all together so it wasn’t too sweet. I just wanted it to be well balanced without having too much of a King Cake flavor.”
Sweetness was definitely a challenge throughout Sunday’s Bar Fight, with mandatory ingredients of Oreos and almond paste in round two and a red velvet cupcake and peanut-butter-filled pretzel in round three.
For the second round, Corso says he essentially made a chocolate martini with bourbon. “I’m a whiskey drinker myself. I love bourbon and scotch, and I always like the way bourbon goes with chocolate,” he said, and explained that he weighted the drink pretty heavily with bourbon to counter the sweetness of the other ingredients.
For the final round, he stood off against fellow bartender Tim Griffin. Corso says he once again wanted to counter the sweetness of the ingredients, so he used praline liqueur and a salted maple syrup to “bring out the salty sweetness of the pretzel.” As in round one, he used spiced rum, but this time to compliment the saltiness of the drink.
Corso beat out Griffin by only a couple of votes in the last round, but nonetheless, is headed on to Round 5 next week.
“I feel really good about winning,” he said. “Everyone I work with here is awesome…[and] I consider our group one of the best crew’s in town. It was definitely an honor to compete with them and win.”