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Top Bartenders Face Off at Domaine de Canton Competition

Last week, some of San Francisco's best bartenders faced off in one leg of what is sure to be one of the most high profile cocktail competitions in the country. Sponsored by Domaine de Canton, that spicy, complex and delicious ginger liqueur that debuted earlier this year, the contest is worth $10,000 to the ultimate winner and a trip to St Martin for the finalists. Considering all that, you would think tensions would have been high at Le Colonial, where the event was staged. Rather, though, the mood was festive and the bartenders didn't act as if they were nervous at all. Drink ingredients varied from coffee beans and kaffir lime leaves to coconut milk and pineapple. There wasn't a bad drink among them, making the judges' job (I was one) incredibly difficult. Borys Saciuk of Michael Mina took the People's Choice award, which was good for bragging rights, but alas not good enough for a sun tan and a wad of cash. The tans will be coming to Marco Dionysus of Clock Bar and Daniel Hyatt of The Alembic, though we'll have to wait until February to see which man is suddenly the richer.