UPDATE: Congrats to Airen, Alexis, and Ray for snagging 3 pairs of tix to the now completely sold out Kawa Ni Cocktail War Contest! While they were picked randomly, we both debated a long time on the judges spot. In the end, though, we decided to go with Andrea Viscuso.
While we often focus on the explosion of craft beer in Connecticut, there’s another segment of the food biz that has been growing by leaps and bounds: creative bar programs at restaurants. Over the last year or two the attention and care people have given to what they eat and the ingredients go into their food has spilled over to what they’re drinking and how it’s made. So, it’s no surprise to see the CT craft cocktail culture boom with plenty of great places to get masterfully mixed concoctions. For one, beverage Manager and Bartender Jeff Marron of Kawa Ni, LeFarm, and The Whelk, is incredibly excited about (and committed to) the cocktail culture in CT.
How excited? Well, he’s the brainchild behind a brand new series of cocktail competitions that will show people here in the Nutmeg State that there’s plenty of fresh, raw talent . . . even if they aren’t superstars yet.
There will be a total of 6 contests along with a finale over the course of the next few months with the finale on Sunday, November 15 at The Whelk. The first competition kicking it off is on March
22 24 at Kawa Ni. This competition will pit 6 contestants against each other for what is sure to be a ton of fun. Mixologists arrive at 5:00 to set up while the public will start coming in around 5:30 to get some free passed snacks, order some food and drinks, and get ready for the contest that begins at 6:30. There are only 30 seats for public audience judges, so you’ll need to make your reservations STAT. This will go fast and will sell out, so, about that:
Want a shot at your own spot or even getting a chance to be an official judge alongside OmNomCT and a very select group of other cocktail enthusiasts? Well, all you’ll have to do in order to be the winner of the exclusive judge seat is reply to this post and let us know why you’d be the perfect judge. We’re going to be super picky on this one because we want someone who really knows their cocktails!
The contest starts now and goes until next Thursday, 3/18/15, at 5 pm. At that time, check back here and on our social media accounts for the winner of the single judge seat. Also be on the lookout for another contest early next week where we release 3 pairs of tix for general admission with the chance to taste cocktail samples and judge in a tie-breaking situation.
Here’s more info from Jeff about the contest:
“Cocktail Wars” at Kawa Ni in Westport
- 36 bartenders compete against each other to win amazing prizes.
- 6 single elimination round events (6 bartenders at each event)
- 3 celebrity judges
- 3 foodie judges
- 30 public judges
- 1 Sponsored liquor at each event
- 1 Secret Ingredient at each event selected by Mimi at Saugatuck Grain and Grape
- You have permission to use anything behind my bar at Kawa Ni (including my molecular mixology ingredients)
- You’re allowed to bring one non-alcoholic ingredient to the contest from home or your job, such as syrups, juices, sodas, aromatic waters, salts, sugars, compound butter, ice, etc.