Harlem Park to Park—a local community improvement association—has partnered with Hendrick's gin and Hennessy to sponsor Uptown Battle of the Bars, a cocktail competition that tasks the area's bartenders to create two cocktails using the aforementioned spirits for a chance to compete in the final showdown on Monday, May 19th at Harlem Tavern.
To get to this final stage they need a willing public to consume vast amounts of cocktails and vote for their favorites by "Liking" its photo on Instagram. There are dozens of bars and restaurants participating, including Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster Harlem, iconic Sylvia's Restaurant and newcomers The Cecil and Minton's. Besides the big names, though, it's the smaller spots that are of most interest, including Silvana—a subterranean bar and restaurant that features multiple live music acts a night—and La Bodega 47 Social Club, a romantic and cosy cocktail lounge that channels a corner store in its decor.
Voting runs through Thursday, May 15th, though the special cocktails will remain on the menus until Monday, May 19th and possibly beyond. The final showdown pits the top 12 bartenders against one another, ultimately concluding in a two-person, Chopped-style competition with special ingredients for on-the-fly mixology. The event is open to the public with tickets running $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Even if you don't choose to participate in the Battle, it's well worth a visit uptown to experience the wonderful culinary scene and knock back a few well-made libations.