'Twas an intoxicating evening in Purcellville Monday for Catoctin Creek Distillery's inaugural Battle of the Bartenders competition.

The “Chopped”-style contest, which benefited CORE, featured bartenders Phil Duong of AhSo in Brambleton, Samet Yuksekgonul of The Conche in Village at Leesburg, Andrew Jennens of Sense of Thai St. in One Loudoun, Jeff Berry of Wine Kitchen in Leesburg and Sam Scarlett, formerly of WK Hearth and now at Kinship in Washington D.C.

CORE -- Children of Restaurant Employees -- supports children of food and beverage workers navigating life-altering circumstances.

After three rounds of both playful and classic cocktails – and surprise ingredients pawpaw vinegar, Snake Oil hot sauce and worm and pepper salt – Duong came away victorious.

“Still on a high,” Duong said Wednesday. “Everyone['s] drinks were so dope.”

“This was truly an evening of community,” added Catoctin Creek General Manager Lauren Barrett. “I'm proud of my industry tonight.”


Disclosure: Times-Mirror Editor-in-Chief Trevor Baratko served as a judge in the Battle of the Bartenders competition.

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