NEW ORLEANS -- There is no better place to scout out some of the most dedicated bartenders than at "The Most Imaginative Bartender Competition."
This is just one of the many events happening this week during Tales of the Cocktail.
Bartenders from around the country have come to compete in this prestigious competition, and we decided to use this opportunity to ask them some questions about life behind the bar.
1. How did you become a bartender?
"I became a bartender by accident as I think most of us do," says James Bailey of Toronto.
2. What is your biggest goal as a bartender?
"We really do intend to sort of have an experience with a guest across the bar, and it's not necessarily about the drink," says Minneaplis bartender, Brandon Sass.
3. What is the worst part about being a bartender?
"The worst part of our job, it's not bad at all, we have to go out and taste cocktails, taste new ingredients, and new spirits that are coming out," says Chicago's Carley Gaskin.
4. What is the new trend in bar-tending?
"A lot of people are starting to use more fruits and vegetables, and not just fruits, but more vegetables inside of things," says Bailey.
5. What's the craziest thing you've heard from across the bar?
"The confession of somebody having an affair and being very open about it right in front of you, I think is probably the most off putting thing that has happened in front of me at the bar," says Sass.
6. What is the best part about being a bartender?
"The best part about our job and the one thing that we love the most is that we have fun doing it. We want you to have fun sitting at our bar like you were coming to our home. We just want everybody to have a good time," says Gaskin.
The 16 North America finalists will travel to London – the home of Bombay Sapphire and its new Laverstoke Distillery – to vie for the 2018 North American Title this September.