Calling All Bartenders:  Now Accepting Entries Through August 2, 2019

Orlando, FL, July 24, 2019 - Rum is often a misunderstood spirit, but this versatile alcoholic beverage has such a vast history and will be featured at this September's Hip Sip: Battle of the Modern Bartender Competition taking place at the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show in Orlando.  Chosen finalists will battle in this fun and exciting competition on Center Stage for the chance to win $1,000, bragging rights, an article in the October 2019 issue of Bar Business Magazine. Entries are being accepted until FridayAugust 2, 2019 and can be sent to Patricia Copela at patricia.copela@clarionevents.com.  The competition will take place on SundaySeptember 15, 2019 from 1:30 - 3:30 pm.  For more information about the Hip Sip Battle and guidelines, visit https://www.flrestaurantandlodgingshow.com/hip-sip-florida

"We are looking for the best rum cocktail or the most creative spin on a Mojito, Hurricane, El Presidente, Daiquiri, Cubanito, Hemingway Special, etc.," said Tom Loughran, Vice President for the Clarion UX Food & Beverage Group. "Bartenders will be judged on creativity, use of product, taste, presentation, and flair. We thank our sponsor Bar Business Magazine, our esteemed emcee and judges for their participation and support."

The emcee for the event is Alexander Barranco, born and raised in Tampa Florida, in a large Cuban family, who has worked at various local establishments and currently consults on bar set-up and beverage menu creations.  He is the past President of the United States Bartenders' Guild Tampa Bay Chapter.  Judges for this event include Armando Rosario, Master Mixologist & Spirits Educator, Southern Wine & Spirits; Todd Ulmer, Owner, Stardust Lounge, Aku Aku Tiki Bar; Guillermo Pernot, Chef-Partner, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar; and Melisa Lapido, @melis_boozy_cure, Ormond Beach, FL. 

The Spirit Sponsors for the Hip Sip Battle are ZÍAMI Platinum - Florida Craft Rum, anaged white rum distilled from Florida molasses is matured in American oakbourbon barrels, then carbon filtered to remove color but retain the full barrel flavor and aroma; Wicked Dolphin Coconut Rum made with real coconut water & natural ingredients for a genuine coconut taste; and Wicked Dolphin Spiced Rum, flavored with special spice blend and vanilla and Florida orange peels to add some local flair, and sweetened with local honey.  

The 2019 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show will provide access to the hottest menu trends, state of the art design and decor, a renowned education program, special events including the Rapid Fire Challenge, Hip Sip Florida: Battle of the Modern Bartender, the Torch and Beacon Awards, The American Culinary Federation's Central Florida Chapter Culinary Arts Competition, culinary demonstrations, and an exhibitor list boasting 400+ vendors from food & beverage products, equipment, services, distributors, technology, and more.  Register by August 16 to receive advance registration discounts.  To register, click here.    

Healthy Food Expo Florida brings restaurant, foodservice and retail operators' food and beverage options for healthy menu and shelf items, nutritional information, preparation techniques and access to the latest healthy products from organic, vegan, gluten-free and allergy-safe to hormone-free, non-GMO, plant-based, low-sodium, low-fat, and more.  The Healthy Food Expo offers education sessions which will focus on such hot topics as trending healthy ingredients, plant-based seafood, food allergies, lifestyle diet & nutrition, sourcing local food, healthy beverages, prebiotics, spice sourcing, and much more.  

The  Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show and Healthy Food Expo are produced and managed by Clarion UX, and sponsored by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.  Clarion UX produces 37 events across 13 sectors of both trade and consumer events. Clarion UX, which is the U.S. division of Clarion Events, UK, and backed by The Blackstone Group has become one of the fastest growing event companies in the U.S. with aggressive growth through both acquisition and launch.  Clarion acquired PennWell in early 2018, bringing 4 Tradeshow 200 events into the U.S. portfolio and super-charging the already rapid growth.  Clarion UX has offices in Trumbull, CT; Kennesaw, GA; Boca Raton, FL; Tacoma, WA, and Fairlawn, NJ.