Breaking Records a| and a Few Bottles

“My hands were slippery during the actual competition, so I kept dropping bottles,” laughs The Shout House bartender Chris Raph. “Other than that, I think it went really well.”

With the spotlights from four local television crews trained on him and more than 300 guests watching, Raph set out to break the record for “most cocktails prepared in 60 minutes” for Guinness World Records on April 16. The Shout House has been open in Minneapolis for nearly five years now, and the venue is known for its dueling pianists belting out tunes nightly. Now, it’s famous for world-record-holder Raph as well, who made 662 different cocktails in under an hour, nearly doubling the previous record.

“I got interested in the challenge of it after reading an article in Nightclub & Bar about Bobby Gleason holding the record with 253 cocktails [the record was then reset by Matthias Knorr in Munich, Germany, at 389]. I knew I could beat that, so I trained for about six months.”

Raph had to make, from memory, more than 390 different cocktails. The rules stated that the cocktails would be considered “different” as long as one ingredient was changed.

Management teamed up with Diageo, which donated the spirits, and Sysco, which donated the alcohol-free product. Guests paid $4 at the door, with all of the money benefiting the Finnegan’s Community Fund, which helps the area’s homeless. Cocktail #390 and cocktail #662 were auctioned off, increasing the total amount raised that night to more than $1,500. Since that evening, Raph has been the subject of several radio shows, television appearances and magazine profiles, all bringing business back to the bar.