An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Aug 7, 2013
09:45 AM
The Connecticut Table

A Winning Bartender in Watertown

A Winning Bartender in Watertown

Carl Summa, on left

When it comes to making drinks, Carl Summa of Main Street Grill in Watertown knows his stuff. He put that talent to the test on July 28 at Bombay Sapphire’s Search for the Most Imaginative Bartender at Stonebridge Restaurant in Milford. Summa went head to head with six other state mixologists and, after a series of challenging timed sessions, surprise twists and blind tastings by a panel of judges, won the day with his innovative FABolous cocktail, made with Bombay Sapphire and fig almond syrup.

As winner of this round, Summa advances to the United States Bartenders’ Summit in Las Vegas semi-finals on Sept. 7, representing Hartford. He’ll share the stage with 51 competitors from every state, plus one from Canada. The finals take place the next day. If he takes the title in Las Vegas, he wins a spot in the Third Annual Global Finals in 2014.

“It’s truly an honor to have the opportunity to be nationally recognized in my field,” Summa says. “The notion that the national recognition could turn into global recognition is simply surreal.”

But it’s early days, and in the meantime, he’s proud of his winning FABolous entry: “The ‘FAB’ was for fig, almond, balsamic. So it was Bombay Sapphire gin, fresh lemon juice, fig and almond syrup and egg white. I rimmed the glass in reduced balsamic vinegar, then grated roasted almonds on top.”

He created the cocktail specifically for the regional competition, he says. “After trial and error ,the cocktail was very balanced and had the imaginative twist to it that Sapphire was looking for.”

Congrats, Carl—fingers crossed for Las Vegas!

A Winning Bartender in Watertown

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