Our fourth and final contestant, Ryan Welliver, was born and raised in South Carolina. He’s pullin’ out all the stops for the competition and will definitely be a force to be reckoned with during Wednesday's finals. Good luck Ryan! You're up:
Q: Where's your hometown and where do you currently bartend?
A: My hometown is Hilton Head Island, SC and I manage the bar at The Cocktail Club.
Q: Name of the cocktail you entered in the competition?
A: I originally named my cocktail “Hamiltime,” but am changing the name to, “Storm the Beach”, in honor of the anniversary of D-Day, when the Americans stormed the beaches of Normandy!
Q: Best bar for drinks with friends?
A: I like to start the night with cocktails at The Belmont or The Rarebit and usually end at either The Recovery Room or The Commodore. I will say, Cocktail Club is a great place for cocktails as well!
Q: Favorite drink to make?
A: My favorite drink to make would be a split between The Last Word and The Daiquiri. I love introducing The Last Word to guests that have never had one before because the complexity of flavors-- it really makes you think about what you are tasting. The Daiquiri is one of my favorites as well due to its simplicity and its ability to be used as a blueprint to build other cocktails. It is also fun to see how different styles of rums play in the classic daiquiri format.
The Last Word:
¾ oz Ford’s Gin
¾ oz Green Chartreuse
¾ oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
¾ oz fresh lime juice
2 ½ oz Plantation Pineapple
¾ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz 2:1 demerara syrup
Q: Best part about being a bartender in Downtown Charleston?
A: The best part of bartending in Downtown Charleston, in my opinion, is being a part of a community and family. Everybody is friendly and looks out for each other, even when competing against each other. It's always fun and I enjoy meeting new people and giving them the best experience possible while they are drinking in my bar.
Q: Best-kept bartending secret?
A: Open a tab! You will get quicker service that night and most likely in the future. If you open a tab, it is a lot easier to remember you and what you drink when we know your name as well. If it is busy and you have an open tab, we will most likely take your order before others because we know we might not need to take a trip to the register right away, which slows down service and throws off our rhythm.
Q: Anything you want to say about your three competitors?
A: They are all outstanding bartenders and I am very humbled to be competing next to them. I think we all consider each other friends and I think we still will no matter the outcome of this competition. I wish all of them luck and hope they do the same for me.
BONUS Question: Spirit Cocktail?
A: Daiquiri. I wear straw hats and linen well.
Join us Wednesday, December 7th for our Rum Rum Rudolph Cocktail Crawl to meet all four finalists as they present their one-of-a-kind, rum-centric cocktails. No tickets needed! Information can be found here.