Riffle NW, in the Pearl District, is losing a bartender to a world bartending competition next week in Rio de Janeiro.  Ricky Gomez will be leaving for Brazil on Friday.

Last month, “Gomez bet out 20 other top bartenders at the U.S. finals of the Diageo beverage company’s World Class bartending competition,” according to OregonLive.

The competition consists of four parts.  Gomez will be required to prepare a twist on a classic cocktail, give a presentation about a famous American icon, pair cocktails with food on the fly, and create a cocktail using an unknown ingredient in front of industry luminaries including Jim Meehan and Tony Abou-Ganim.

From New Orleans to Portland, Gomez moved to Portland in 2009.  He started off receiving a job offer from Daniel Shoemaker at the Teardrop Cocktail Lounge.  He is the first U.S. bartender to compete in the competition.  The competition is four years old.

According to Oregon Live, Gomez plans to meet with local baristas to discuss including coffee in a cocktail for the Brazil competition.  Gomez will also become the U.S. ambassador for Diageo brand’s reserve portfolio including spirits like Johnnie Walker whisky, Tanqueray 10 gin, and Ketel One vodka.

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