Catching a buzz at The Hub is a surefire way to drum up some emotion, but Kamran Mir, a longtime Tampa bartender who just celebrated his two-year anniversary behind the bar at the downtown dive, took it to another level Tuesday night during Tampa Mayor Jane Castor’s new “Crafting Tampa's Cocktail” competition.
Held just a short walk away from The Hub at Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, the competition was a search for Tampa’s signature cocktail, and Mir turned up the feels for his entry, which he called “6 a.m. on 7th Ave.” as an homage to the Ybor City historic district.
Served in styrofoam coffee cups you might get when you order a coffee with your Obama Cuban at the West Tampa Sandwich shop, the cocktail was a tribute to the city’s immigrants.
“This is inspired by the café con leche because when I think of something to drink in Tampa, that's the first thing on my mind. That is the most Tampa beverage as far as I'm concerned,” Mir—who also plays in local Americana band Urbane Cowboys—told competition host Greg Wolf.
“I used this opportunity to kind of tell the story of immigration into Tampa. So we're using Bacardi rum, which originates in Cuba, Galliano ristretto which is an Italian coffee liqueur, plus some Grand Marnier to not only represent European immigration into, into Tampa, but to also represent some of that bright orange—kind of tasting the Florida sunshine,” Mir said. He even presented the drink with a classic Tampeño horderve—a guava and cheese pastry.
“What else would you want with your café con leche?,” Mir asked.
“You nailed it I mean as far as Tampa like that definitely screams Tampa to me,” Wolf added. And with that, the rest of the 14-restaurant and bar field had no chance (reps from White Lie and First Chance Last Chance took third and second, respectively). Mir took home $500, a gift basket, and a trophy that someone at The Hub is probably drinking out of right now.
The Hub is located at 711 N. Franklin St. You better bring a guava cheese pastry when you stop by to say hello.
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