OUT caught up with Evan Logan - the recently crowned Philadelphia Champion in the 2017 Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic - fresh off his win. The Cocktail Classic is Stoli’s annual competition to find North America’s Number One Bartender. LGBTQ bartenders and allies across the U.S. and Canada will compete to represent their home city on the grand stage of cocktail mixology during Pride Week, June 7-11th, in Key West, Florida. Here's what Evan had to say about the competition.
OUT: Evan, congrats on being named the Philadelphia Champion in the 2017 Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic! How does it feel?
Evan: I’m still soaking everything in. It’s amazing to think that Stoli wants to fly me down to Key West to be a part of this event. I’m so thankful for that, and for all the support from my co-workers and friends who helped me win the preliminary so I’m extremely thankful for all their efforts. I’m really just in awe of this opportunity and thankful for everyone who helped me get here.
You were able to get an edge up on the rest of your Philadelphia competitors with a super creative cocktail, “Stoli Money Maker”. Can you tell us a little bit about the drink, and your inspiration behind it?
Originally I set out to make a green drink that was actually good and refreshing. I experimented with tons of ingredients - herbs, teas, fruits, vegetables, spices - but nothing I made had me saying “I would love to drink this, and most people will enjoy this”.
Being a little frustrated, I sat back and thought about Key West. What would be more perfect for a hot, lively, beautiful place than something simple, refreshing, and clean that everyone can enjoy? Once I had that mindset, the drink came together naturally. Using honeydew melon juice, Matcha green tea powder, mint, and Stoli Vodka of course – the refreshing and delicious Stoli Money Maker was born.
Sounds delicious. The Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic honors the unique legacy of gay bars as original safe spaces and community centers and the role our bartenders have played as hosts and caretakers throughout history. Tell us about what your role as a nightlife professional means to you.
I love seeing people enjoying themselves. In my profession I get to help facilitate someone’s positive experience. I feel lucky for that. It can be as simple as telling a corny joke, or just asking how someone’s day has been and actually listening that can really improve their mood. Sometimes people just want a drink and to be left alone. Whatever it is, I’m happy as long as people leave happier than when they came in.
As you know, part of your prize for winning the Philadelphia competition is an all-expense-paid trip to Key West, FL this June. Have you ever been to Key West before?
I have not, but I can’t wait to work on my tan once I’m there.
And if you take home the title, you’ll be included as the Grand Marshall of the Key West Pride Parade. Have you ever been the Grand Marshall of a parade before?
No, but if I do it’s going to go at the top of every resume I ever send out! Evan Logan, Grand Marshall has a nice ring to it.
Love it. And in Key West, you’ll be competing for a chance to win $2,500 to $7,500 for your hand-picked charity, Attic Youth Center. Anything you want to mention on your relationship to that organization, or why you picked it to represent?
Being relatively new to Philadelphia, I had to ask around for charity suggestions. The Attic Youth Center came highly recommended by many people, and after learning more about them I don’t think I could have found a better organization. It’s tragic to know that some LGBTQ youth suffer and are left without support at home solely for their identity. The people at the Attic YC provide that support and opportunities for growth to the youth who participate.
Any advice (or trash talk!) for your competitors as you head into the Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic Finale - June 7th - 12th in Key West, FL?
Bring extra sunscreen ‘cuz my drink is LIT.
Amazing. Well we can’t wait to see what innovative cocktails you stir up this June. Good luck, and know that all of Philadelphia will be rooting for you!
To keep up with Kayla and the rest of the action in the 4th Annual Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic, visit OUT.com/KeyWestCocktailClassic.