On Sunday, March 3rd, the first nationwide competition created by and for female bartenders comes to San Diego for an extraordinary event that combines world class bartenders, spectator sport and fundraising to fight breast cancer. Speed Rack San Diego is the Southern California stop of a nationwide tour that’s now in its second year, the brainchild of acclaimed bartenders and industry ambassadors Lynnette Marrero and Ivy Mix.
The inaugural Speed Rack tour culminated in May 2012 with the National Finals in New York City, where Yael Vengroff (Proprietors LLC) bested Alba Huerta (Anvil Bar & Refuge) and won a trip to France, courtesy of Remy Cointreau. Over $7,000 was raised at the finals, which brought the Speed Rack fundraising total to nearly $70,000 in just 9 months. To date, Speed Rack has raised more than $100,000 for breast cancer research, education and prevention.
Using Speed Rack sponsors’ products, participating bartenders are required to make a round of cocktails, selected at random and culled from a list of 50 industry-standard recipes. The competitors face off in round robin-style, instant-elimination rounds. The judges request and evaluate each drink based on accuracy, taste and presentation.
Speed Rack San Diego competitors will be judged by a panel of cocktail and spirits luminaries, including: Erick Castro (Owner, Polite Provisions); Simon Ford (Co-Founder, The 86 Co.); Yael Vengroff, Miss Speed Rack 2012; and Neyah White (Western Brand Ambassador, Suntory Whisky).
One champion will emerge from this formidable list of Speed Rack San Diego competitors:
- Amanda Gunderson – The Bazaar by José Andrés, Los Angeles
- Brent Falco – Cole’s, Los Angeles
- Brittini Rae – Ink Restaurant, Los Angeles
- Cameron Holloway – Quality Social, San Diego
- Cari Hah – Neat, Cole’s, Los Angeles
- Christy Spinella – Polite Provisions, San Diego
- Courtney Lee Wilson – Williams & Graham, Denver CO
- Devon Tarby – The Varnish, Los Angeles
- Gabrielle Dion – Broadway By Amar Santana, Laguna Beach
- Helen Diaz – Lolinda, San Francisco
- Jennifer Lane Oakley – Black Market Liquor Bar, Waterloo & City, Los Angeles
- Jillian Rae Webster – Harvard & Stone, Los Angeles
- Kiowa Bryan – Eveleigh, Los Angeles
- Lauren Trickett – Tantalum, Long Beach
- Meghan Balser – Seven Grand, San Diego
- Melissa Durant – Green Russell, Old Major, Denver CO
- Mia Mastroianni – Soho House West Hollywood, Los Angeles
- Naomi Schimek – The Spare Room, Los Angeles
- Sarah Ellis – Jaynes Gastropub, San Diego
- Sophie Gordon – El Dorado Cocktail Lounge, San Diego
- Terrin A McFall – Wolfgang Puck MGM Grand, Las Vegas NV
- Taryn Dutton – Seven Grand, San Diego
The Speed Rack San Diego champion will join the Season 2 bartenders who have been crowned so far:
- Tampa: Jaki Winkles, Miami
- St. Louis: Paige Unger, Kansas City
- San Antonio: Karah Carmack, San Antonio
- Tucson: Shel Bourdon, Phoenix
- NYC: Eryn Reece
- Boston: Naomi Levy, Cambridge
- Seattle: Lacy Hawkins, Portland
- San Francisco: Victoria George
Along with her fellow Season 2 winners, Miss Speed Rack San Diego will receive several prizes, including:
- $100 gift certificate from Cocktail Kingdom
- $500 honorarium toward travel to the National Finals in New York, provided by St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
Following Speed Rack San Diego, the tour will hit Chicago before returning to New York for the National Speed Rack Finals on Thursday, May 16, 2013. The Grand Prize winner will be crowned Miss Speed Rack USA and receive an all-inclusive trip for two to France, where they will enjoy the beauty of the Anjou region, take a tour of the Cointreau distillery, and attend the Cointreau Bartender Academie, an education program designed to enlighten the trade on the secrets and subtleties of Cointreau. In addition, the founding Partners of BAR (Beverage Alcohol Resource) are offering Miss Speed Rack 2013 a scholarship to their 5-day program.
Presale tickets to Speed Rack San Diego are now available online for $20. Tickets will also be on sale at the door for $25. All-inclusive tickets include entry to the competition, cocktail samples with sponsor products, and bites.
Speed Rack San Diego
Sunday, March 3, 2013
2pm – 6pm
21 & over
$20 presale tickets: srsd-eorg.eventbrite.com
$25 at the door
- Cocktail samples and bites
- Emceed by Chris Patino
- DJ Ryan Fitzgerald
755 5th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
To get warmed up for Speed Rack San Diego, thirsty Angelenos will have a chance to sit in front of Ivy Mix when she makes a guest appearance in The Parlour at Sadie on Thursday, February 28th. Hosted by Giovanni Martinez, Sadie’s Director of Spirits and Mixology, Ivy Mix’s guest night is sponsored by Tequila Ocho and Pierde Almas Mezcal.
Ivy Mix at Sadie
Thursday, February 28, 2013
9pm – 12am
Sadie Kitchen & Lounge
1638 N. Las Palmas
Hollywood, CA 90028
Photos courtesy of Speed Rack, via Facebook.