Bombay Sapphire, The United States Bartender Guild, and GQ Magazine have joined together for the “Inspired Bartender Search,” an ongoing competition to find the most creative bartender in the U.S. Master mixologist Milo Rodriguez traveled to Charleston last month in search of the most unique bartending talents in the area. Cocktail after cocktail, Rodriguez finally found the best drink, perfectly mixed and poured by the skillful hands of Jason Hall, one of CP's sexiest bartenders, at Charleston Grill. After out-mixing 30 other talented bartenders, on June 29, Hall was announced as the Charleston finalist for the competition.
The next stop for Hall is Vegas, baby. There, he will compete against 40 other finalists, mixing his finest cocktails for the chance to be named the 2010 Inspired Bartender. I met up with the beautifully poised bartender after his photo shoot for GQ’s December 2010 “Men of the Year” issue — another perk for being a sexy mixologist. “I gotta make sure my mom gets a copy,” laughs Hall. With all this excitement, he remains dedicated to his job at Charleston Grill and passionate about creating new cocktails that entice every taste bud from the first sip to the last. “The key is well balance, making sure everything in the cocktail is perfectly balanced,” Hall explains.
With eight years of bartending experience, Hall knew exactly how to balance “Phire To Life,” the cocktail that will carry him to Vegas. The creative master mind had about six weeks of preparation before the invitation-only competition, but he had been concocting ideas long before. “Phire To Life” consists of Bombay Sapphire, simple syrup made from “To Life” tea, lemon juice, orange juice, Aperol, and green chili Tabasco. Hall explains that only a few drops of the hot sauce are used, “It’s not spicy; the Tabasco helps balance and bring everything together.” After talking to Hall and picking his creative mind, I understand why many would consider him a bar chef; he takes time to understand and perfectly construct every ingredient chosen for his mixtures.