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Alcohol Drinks Toasty

Bartenders Knuckle Up For Their Health In Actual Bartender Boxing Organization

Walking into the famed Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, you’ll see all the tropes you’d expect: the boxing rings, the heavy bags, the posters and, of course, the men and women performing feats of pugilism that make you question your own athleticism and self-worth. What might not be as expected or apparent, are that quite a few of them are bartenders who just a few hours ago were slinging drinks at some of New York City’s hottest bars.

The 12 barmen and barwomen aren’t alone. In Chicago’s Oakley Fight Club, another 12 bartenders are also training as well. All 24 promising pugilists were handpicked for the Bartender Boxing Organization’s (“BBO”) Round Two sponsored by Tequila Cazadores.

The goal is to take bartenders out of their comfort zone with the physical and mental challenge of boxing by immersing them in a 12-week training program where their fitness, nutrition, and mental toughness will be tested, honed, and perfected under the watchful eyes of Littrell and trainers Dalon Parsley and Leon Taylor. The end goal is to select eight participants from each city to box one and other in a tournament. The top four fighters from those two showcases will face-off on November 19th. Earlier this year, bartenders from Los Angeles and Houston went head to head at Tales of the Cocktail.

Cazadores saw themselves as a natural fit as a sponsor for the organization. “We’ve always supported professional boxing,” Manny Hinojosa, Brand Ambassador for Tequila Cazadores. “We’ve worked with De La Hoya, Pacquiao, and Golden Boy Promotions. We wanted to figure out how we could bring that to the guys who serve and pour our tequila. We wanted to change the bartender lifestyle and its been very well received.”

So how were the bartenders-turned-boxers chosen? “It’s a very small industry and everyone knows each other so we wanted to make sure it wasn’t based on where people worked,” said Littrell, who explained that the first round of eliminations were done by BBO Boxing Director Tommy Neff based on physicality. “From there everyone received preliminary letters to learn more about them and I reached out directly to explain expectations. We wanted to give them a realistic sense of what we were asking.”

The ask was that each participant train three times a week for three months at the gym as well as additional personal training every other day. Gym sessions include running two miles in less than 20 minutes as well as doing 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 dips, and 100 pull-ups. This is all before bartenders then go into their team training. It’s one hour of extremely high intensity training and that’s addition to their standard 12-hour work shifts. All the participants from each city will go through the 90-day leaderboard training program focusing on boxing technique, conditioning, high intensity interval training as well as developing a new diet regimen to determine who will be featured in the cities’ showcases.

“The team members are intense,” say Littrell during a break. “Some of them train all the time and some of them have never trained before in their lives. The one thing that everybody enjoys is the group discipline and the teamwork. We try to generate that day in and day out. The motivation is already there.”

United by a common motivation, the bartenders had several reasons for signing up for BBO.

“I have been yearning for the feeling of team practice on a routine basis,” says Jessica Dure, who tends bar at Chumley’s and Sushi Nakazawa. “Having a program like this where I can be amongst my peers and we can challenge each other on a different realm other than a professional realm is really awesome to be a part of. As an adult too, it’s a different mindset. I was a three-season athlete growing up but the extent to which you can push yourself as you grow older and who you’re surrounded with changes a lot, so it’s cool to have this support system like this.”

“I was always interested in doing some alternative workout,” adds The NoMad Bar’s Pietro Colina. “I usually hate working out. I am a sports person, so I am challenged more by my competitive nature. I get really bored in the gym, so when I heard about this opportunity, I jumped right on it.”

Watching the bartenders train, its hard to believe its only been four weeks since they started but they say they can tell the difference. “It was pretty tough to start. I would be pretty tired at work,” says Devin Kennedy, Cote Korean Steakhouse’s head bartender. “Somedays, I couldn’t shake a shaker because my arms were like noodles but it’s gotten a lot better.”

“The level of intensity of this sport has surprised me,” adds Brian Valencia of The Box Cabaret. “I have done almost every sport – I can run so many miles but if you put me in the ring for three two-minute rounds of intense punching and moving across the ring, I am tired out. It’s impressive, the level of athleticism that boxers have.”

All the participants seem to have fallen in love with the “sweet science” even if it’s not what they were initially expecting.

“I felt like there was going to be more of a euphoria getting into the ring,” says Dead Rabbit’s Jessica Friedman. “But its more about how focused you are on technique and learning the right way to do things as opposed to throwing hands at full strength. We’re learning the right way to take care of ourselves and learning the right way to do it.”

Littrell agrees. “We don’t mention about the ‘k word.’ We don’t talk about haymakers. We don’t even talk about fighting. We talk about the surgical, technical skill of boxing.”

With the regional matches coming up, BBO hopes that these four cities are just the beginning.

“We’re getting unbelievable feedback on our Facebook page with people asking how they can take part in other markets,” Littrell says. “Everyone is interested in this so we’re very much looking forward to 2018 and developing programs across the country.”

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Alcohol Drinks News Recipes Toasty

Hennessy Packs Punch With Canelo Inspired Cocktail

Boxers and booze seem to be quite the trend these days. From Mayweather to McGregor, all the major fighters are either starting their own spirits brands or are being celebrated by established ones.

Ahead of his match this past weekend with Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Álvarez teamed with Hennessy for its “Never stop. Never settle.” campaign. The partnership includes original content, special events, and other promotions intended to inspire others.

“For me, boxing isn’t just a passion – it’s a family legacy,” said Canelo via statement. “Working with my Golden Boy team and Hennessy is the perfect way to celebrate that. It is my time to inspire others with my ‘Never stop. Never settle.’ story.”

Golden Boy Promotions brokered the deal with Hennessy for the Mexican boxer who they say “epitomizes the importance of family and the pursuit of excellence.” As the youngest of seven brothers, all of whom are professional boxers, Canelo is the only one to become a world champion.

Hennessy also created a Canelo-inspired cocktail, the Citrus Cross:

  • 1 ½ oz. Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Cognac
  • ½ oz. Triple sec or orange liqueur
  • Splash orange juice
  • Top with lemon-lime soda

Combine Hennessy, orange liqueur, and orange juice in a rocks glass with ice; top with lemon-lime soda.

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ESPN Anchors Use Odd Food Analogies To Breakdown Mayweather-McGregor Fight

We all know hunger will make you say some crazy things, especially when you use really odd food analogies to help characterize the most hyped fight of the century.

After the long awaited bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor, there was no shortage of opinions. So, for the sake of having a hot take, ESPN anchor Stephen A. Smith and boxing trainer and expert Teddy Atlas, used some choice food analogies to characterize the match in a live post-fight analysis segment.

It started when long-time boxing expert Teddy Atlas credited Mayweather for his ability to change his fighting style during the fight. However, instead of simply stating that as such, Atlas instead started talking about cooking.

odd food analogies

Instagram/@Fighting_Empire

“He [McGregor] forced a gourmet chef to be a fast-order cook,” Atlas said. “That’s what he did!”

Smith, known for his bombastic personality, was ready to take it further immediately.

“But, doesn’t that make it fast food, instead of à la carte steak?” Smith shouted.

It’s unclear if both men were hungry or if they were just trolling, but as the segment goes on, both anchors continue shouting over each other. At one point, they’re both yelling in agreement.

“Yes, it does,” Atlas screamed back at Smith. “He made him go in there, and he made him flip cheeseburgers. He made him do something that he doesn’t normally do, but his [Mayweather] character allowed him to still walk the guy down and knock the guy out!!”

It’s confusing and bizarre.

At this point, Atlas was literally standing over Smith while yelling on top of his face.

Smith was still charged up and had more curious culinary analogies to clap back with.

“Wait a minute Teddy, if you go to a restaurant to get some steak, to get some filet mignon, but instead you get a burger — ain’t it a burger,” Smith questioned. “I mean, it’s just a burger. That’s what we saw tonight, that’s all I’m saying!'”

This pointless argument went on for more than a minute during a live segment on ESPN, and Atlas emphasized that if it was just a burger, there would only be one person eating it.

“Who’s eating it? Floyd is eating it — the other guy’s not!” Atlas declared.

We’ve compared sports athletes to food in the past, but this was much more bizarre and entertaining.

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Tequila Avion Creates Floyd Mayweather Jr. Edition Bottle To Celebrate His 50th Fight

Most pro athletes celebrate by popping bottles of champagne. NASCAR drivers do it with milk — because driving? If things go according to plan this Saturday (August 26) for Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr.,  he’ll probably be knocking back with his own tequila.

Tequila Avión has created a limited edition, commemorative bottle of the brand’s ultimate tequila offering, Avión Reserva 44 Extra Añejo, to celebrate Mayweather Jr.’s 50th professional fight.

The tequila brand, voted Best Tasting Tequila in the World at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, has worked with Mayweather Jr. to create the exclusive commemorative bottles, of which only 150 are for sale worldwide.  Each custom bottle features an etched likeness of Mayweather Jr. and have been hand-signed by the boxer.  This collector’s edition is composed of fire polished crystal and comes encased in a gift box with a certificate of authenticity.  Avión Reserva 44 is hand bottled in extremely limited batches and gains its distinctive character from Avión agave.

Conversations began when Mayweather Jr. and his team approached Tequila Avión Founder Ken Austin regarding their shared vision. “The team at Tequila Avión joins in the belief of never cutting corners and putting the work in,” says Austin via a statement. “Much like Floyd Mayweather Jr., our brand believes in the pressure of perfection, which is shown in the unwavering commitment to our tequila.”

“Creating this bespoke bottle with Ken and Tequila Avión was a given,” Mayweather adds. “Avión epitomizes the highest in quality, which is all I accept in life.  As a world-class athlete, I have spent my life training to be the best, and as such I’d only work with and associate with the best tequila in the world to have my image and personal signature.”

Unless you live under a rock, you know that Mayweather Jr., who remains undefeated throughout his professional boxing career, faces MMA UFC fighter Conor McGregor this Saturday (August 26) in Las Vegas.

The commemorative bottles of Avión Reserva 44 Extra Añejo Tequila will retail this week for approximately $1,500 each and will be available on the Las Vegas strip at Total Wine & More while supplies last. Orders will also be accepted by visiting TotalWine.com.