Phoning a friend has taken on an entirely new meaning with social distancing, but the folks at Mad Priest are hoping to have a little fun helping some out-of-work bartenders make money. The idea is to play a game of "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire: Cocktail Edition," based on the popular game show that has contestants phoning a friend for help answering a trivia question.
Like a lot of bar and restaurant owners, Mad Priest's Michael Rice has been looking for ways to reach out and help area bartenders, cooks and wait staff who now find themselves out of work because of the spread of the novel coronavirus. He also likes to think out of the box and perhaps think long term.
With that in mind, he came up with an idea that he hopes will put a little change in the pockets of local bartenders while also improving their skills. The downtown bar has created "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire: Cocktail Edition," a virtual event set to take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 4, on Facebook Live and YouTube.
"I like to be creative, so I was thinking, 'How can we get creative and get bartenders to do something extra? Maybe learn something new and have fun with it. Maybe have to work for it.' I think this is a way that they maybe have to study a little bit, but also for people who are watching to realize we know our stuff."
Rice's idea will test idled bartenders' knowledge of mixology, spirits and cocktail history, with enough cash thrown in to make it interesting.
Bartenders were asked to submit an original cocktail recipe last week, and 10 of them (see list) were selected for the next round. Patrons will select which three bartenders will appear on the show, with public voting running through 7 p.m. Friday, April 4.
There are two ways to vote. The first is by going to Mad Priest, 719 Cherry St., and purchasing one of the featured cocktails to go. The total sales will represent 70% of the score. The second way to vote is via a Google form. You can find details on Mad Priest's Facebook page.
Voting is limited to one email address per day, with this representing 30% of the score. All cocktails to go, which are $9, will be available through The Mad Priest online ordering, and 50% of all tips go to the cash pool for the event on Saturday.
Rice said he is still figuring out details, but he hopes to make the event beneficial for all of the contestants. Rice said he has enlisted the help of sponsors to come up with the $1,000 grand prize for the contestant who answers every question. Online viewers can use the Venmo app to contribute financially during the show.
The live event will be played just like the traditional "Who Wants To Be Millionaire" television show with 10 questions that increase in difficulty. Unlike on the actual show, contestants will not lose any money they've accrued with a wrong answer.
If a question is answered incorrectly, the contestant walks away with previous tiered rewards (cash plus products, up to $1,000 per contestant). Like the show, they will have the options of using three lifelines ("50/50," "Call-in one person," "Ask Audience").
Rice said he realizes this particular strategy doesn't reach a large number of people, but he hopes the long-term impact could continue to pay dividends.
"This is small scale, and we are not helping a large mass of people, but hoping it has a bigger ripple effect. And if a lot of people watch and it goes well, maybe we can do it again."
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.
Bartenders and their drinks
To vote online https://bit.ly/2WWpPpM
Matt Edmond - The Daily Dose with Edsolon Tequila, Grand Marnier, key lime, vanilla coconut, basil, orange bitters
Jonathan Gabel - The Black Lodge with Fernet Branca, Benedictine, Luxardo, ginger, lime, Dem, bitters
Lauran Kramer - The Eastern Medicine with Iwai Whiskey, lime, red chili honey, ginger syrup, basil
Mitch Drinnon - The Whirling Dervish with Chattanooga Whiskey 111, Braulio Amaro, Punt e Mes, Campari Rinse, Creole Shrub Cream
Shannon Milsap - Going Postal with Wray & Nephew Rum, Batavia Arrack, Cynar, lime, Dem, bitters
Logan McVaugh - Barrelly MAD Mule with Chattanooga Whiskey Native, Gifford Mure, lemon, G ginger
Alex Lain - She’s a Looker with Sazerac Rye, Aperol, lemon, grapefruit, salt
Josh Smith - Letherbee Gin, Wray & Nephew Rum, Gran Classico, Dolin Blanc, lemon
Kyana Grady - Carole F’n Baskin with Espolon Tequila, Ancho Verdes, Rhubarb Shrub, lime, orange, spices
Mercedes Boulton - Idle Worship with Espirito Cachaca, Yellow Chartreuse, Dolin Blanc, Amaro Montenegro, orange and chicroy syrup, dandelion bitters