The cocktails at tonight’s Battle of the Bartenders are top secret. But the menus are not

Our region has plenty of bars and restaurants with stocked with their fair share of talented bartenders to serve up liquid refreshments.

It's something we take for granted far too often, but one event that serves as a reminder of just how important bartenders are is coming up this week.

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The Buckeye Vodka Battle of the Bartenders event, now in it's seventh year, continues to generate interest, selling out tickets and presenting new flavors to hundreds of guests.

"We have a lot of talent In the Miami Valley, and typically we focus on the chefs. With this event we focus on our local bartenders and we have a ton of talented bartenders in the area. The bartenders create their own cocktail featuring Dayton’s first vodka — Buckeye Vodka," said Amy Zahora Miami Valley Restaurant Association Executive Director. "This event is geared to support all things that are local. Local restaurants, local bartenders, and Dayton’s own Buckeye Vodka. The bartenders love to create craft cocktails and they are paired with the chefs food offering. So with this event you are getting the best of both worlds."

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This year 14 bartenders will be serving up libations created to delight and entice attendees. The restaurants they work for will be serving food to pair with the cocktails.

While the drinks are shrouded in secrecy, the food is being shared in advance.

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Dishes include:

• Amber Rose Restaurant: Strawberry Basil Bruschetta

• Archers Tavern: Shrimp and Watermelon Crostini

• Calypso Smokehouse and Grill: Calypso Pork Belly with Island Slaw

• Carillon Brewing: Salmon Cake with Bacon on a Bed of Arugula

• Carvers Steaks & Chops: BBQ Brisket Slider

• El Meson: Salvadorian Pupusas, Grilled Flat Corn Bread Stuffed with Beans and Cheese and topped with Spicy Cabbage

• Giovanni's Fairborn: Seafood Ravioli with a Sherry Tomato Sauce

• Meadowlark: Pimento Cheese and Smoked Sausage on Cracker

• Mr. Boro's Tavern: Mini BLT with avocado and goat cheese spread

• Roost Modern Italian: Meatballs with Tomatillo and Mint Coulis, Persian Cucumber & Pickled Shallots

• Tavern at the Greene: Fig Jam and Goat Cheese Stuffed Donuts

• Wandering Griffin: Crab Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

Wheat Penny: Wheat Penny Pizza

• Winds Cafe: Beet and Cold Orange Salad with Savory Tuile and Yogurt Cheese

Zahora recommends buying tickets in advance before they sell out.


What: Miami Valley Restaurant Association's Buckeye Vodka Battle of the Bartenders

Where: The Steam Plant, 617 E. Third St., Dayton

When: 6-9 p.m. March 4

Cost: $25 in advance, $30 day of if still available, which includes four sample cocktails and all food. Additional cocktails can be purchased.

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