Bourbon Steak Bartenders Compete in a Charity Tiki Throwdown

El Silencio’s Torrence Swain serves up his “Malvado Dorado.” Image: Kate Michael

In addition to a summer of programming featuring local artist Maggie O’Neill’s “The Liberty of Color” artwork in the Four Seasons courtyard, Bourbon Steak DC hosted a Tiki Throwdown on the patio Sunday afternoon offering cocktail enthusiasts and foodies a front-row seat for a boozy battle with local bartenders going head to head on their signature craft cocktails.

Diageo’s Jamie Macbain serves us his “Spirit Animal” cocktail. Image: Kate Michael

Former Bourbon Steak bartenders joined Head Bartender Engidawork (Engi) Alebachew in a cocktail competition, battling it out to offer the most spectacular sip, with attendee votes determining the reigning champion of the night.

Engi recruited true industry experts to compete, including Jamie MacBain from Diageo Hospitality, Duane Sylvestre from Campari Group, Torrence Swain from Mezcal El Silencio, and Greg Long from Allegory.

A courtyard full of cocktailers enjoyed the taste-tests and Bourbon Steak menu favorites like the Duck Fat Fries and Prime Steak Burger, while grooving to music from a live DJ and posing with Maggie O’Neill’s paint-dipped Statue of Liberty.

In the end, Engi took home top honors for his “Fano” tiki-riffic cocktail, but all of the competitors had bragging rights as ticket proceeds supported Worthy Mentoring, an app that connects LGBTQ+ individuals with vetted and verified mentors.

Bourbon Steak Lead Bartender Engi Alebachew’s “Fano” is the Tiki Throwdown winner! Image: Kate Michael
Allegory’s Greg Long makes a “Right By the Beach (Boiiii). Image: Kate Michael
Campari’s Duane Sylvestre features his “Selassie.” Image: Kate Michael
Maggie O’Neill’s “The Liberty of Color” in the Bourbon Steak patio through Labor Day. Image: Kate Michael