Freelance Food & Drinks Writer

Kansas City’s first drink of the night

If this doesn’t get you jazzed about Kansas City’s cocktail community, I don’t know what will.

VIDEO: The  First Drink of the Night—Paris of the Plains

While most of Tanqueray’s “The First Drink of the Night” videos feature individual bartenders, there was no way that could happen in KC, Lindsey Johnson told me during a brand-sponsored screening at The Rieger earlier this week. Johnson’s founder of Lush Life Productions, which made the video with local Brandon Cummins behind the camera.

It is indeed a community here, and you’ll see familiar faces: Doug Frost, Ryan Maybee, Arturo Vera-Felicie, Beau Williams, Mark Church, Jenn Tosatto, Chris Conatser, Valdez Campos and Justin Richardson, just to name those I recognized. And places: The Rieger, Manifesto, Grünauer, The Farmhouse, Justus Drugstore, Harry’s Bar & Tables. But there’s much, much more out there that makes Kansas City a great place to drink.

The sweetest part? The title. Paris of the Plains is also the name of Kansas City’s first-ever cocktail festival. It’ll happen in August, a sort of massive expansion of the long-running Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition that will fully embrace this city’s rich cultural, musical and boozy heritage. Until then, drink up Kansas City, drink up.