Saratoga Springs showed its competitive side at the sixth annual Shaken & Stirred Celebrity Bartender Party on May 17, which once again pitted local businesses against one another in a competition to serve the most drinks—and earn the most tips. All of the money earned by the teams was then used to benefit the renovation of the Universal Preservation Hall (UPH), a performing arts education and entertainment venue located in a historic church on Washington Street in Downtown Saratoga.
Eight teams battled it out, one-on-one, under strings of yellow lights on the spacious patio of Prime at Saratoga National. The matchups were Adirondack Trust Company versus Stewart’s Shops, Pure Barre versus Sinclair Saratoga, Baby Bumps versus Julie & Co. Realty and DeCrescente Distributing Company versus Phinney Design Group. After holding a solid lead throughout most of the competition, Adirondack Trust Company was ultimately bested by DeCrescente, which raised more than $12,000 in tips. In all, more than $45,000 was raised for UPH.
“This year, the teams were on their game and highly competitive,” says Teddy Foster, Campaign Director for UPH. “They choreographed wonderful entrances”—think loud theme songs, T-shirts being thrown into the crowd, air horns blasting and even a cow mascot (for the Stewart’s team, naturally)—“and they were really in it to win it.” Why has Shaken & Stirred become such a Saratoga staple? “People love it because it’s in a beautiful location, it’s for UPH—which a lot of people love—and it’s easy: You don’t have to get dressed up, there’s no cover charge and it’s all just about enjoying yourself,” Foster says. “It’s like the unofficial kickoff to the summer.”
Next year’s event has already been scheduled, Foster tells me. It’s May 16, 2019—same time, same place. I’ll be there, margarita (and tip) in hand.