Every great bartender is trained in the art of flair and knows the kinds of tricks that can impress a crowd. Attendees at the 2019 Garrison Brothers Bourbon Brawl had the opportunity to watch Texas’ best pull out all the stops on stage as they prepared and presented their drinks to a panel of judges. 2019 Finalist Riamond Lomeli consistently impressed with her drink presentation throughout the competition, so we decided to chat with her about just that.

“The first cocktail that I had was called the ‘Edison Conclusion.’ And my inspiration for it was I was actually looking for a specialty cocktail for my own bar,” said Lomeli. “And I mean, we’re kind of high end. We use nothing but the best ingredients. So I figured why not just incorporate Garrison Brothers with that?”

The name for the “Edison Conclusion” came from Lomeli’s previous home bar, the Edison Experiment. In keeping with that theme, she presented her cocktail in a glass made to look like a lightbulb. From coupes to highballs to martinis to flutes, we saw bartenders use all kinds of glassware to present their drinks, but Lomeli’s idea to skip traditional glassware altogether and create something unique made her drink an immediate standout.

“I wanted to really make an effect on the stage. So I really focused more on my presentation. I’m really big on presentation, but I focused even harder on that, because I saw the competition and it looks pretty good,” said Lomeli.

The competition was impressive and seeing what other bartenders brought to the table during the semi-finals pushed our finalists to new creative heights with their drink presentation. Our best advice for future competitors as they mull over their own drink presentation is to remember that we drink with our eyes. And sure, our bourbon is good enough to look enticing in a tin can, but it never hurts to dress things up if you want to leave a mark.

Video Credit: Side B Productions