Upping the Ante

The 2011 Shake It Up! Cocktail Competition at the Nightclub & Bar Show Increases Prize Winnings

Just a few short months ago, 25 bartenders battled it out on stage at the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas during Shake It Up!, the mixology competition sponsored by Nightclub & Bar and Southern Wine & Spirits. For the 2011 event, they’ll do the same, but the stakes are much higher with a purse of $25,000: The winner will receive $15,000 opposed to the previous $7,500 purse.

Interested bartenders can visit ncbshow.com to enter; deadline for entry is Jan. 14. From there, an organizing committee will judge the recipes and select up to 25 contestants based on the quality of the drinks — from creativity to delectability. Please note: Entrants must currently be employed as bartenders to compete.

Selected contestants will be notified by the end of January to take part in the huge competition at the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas, March 7-9. During the competition, mixologists will be tasked with creating drinks of varying skill levels and styles within a time limit; in the final round, a secret ingredient is introduced and bartenders must craft a recipe on the spot using that ingredient. Last year’s ingredient was aged balsamic vinegar, and Daniel Gonzales, mixologist and bar manager at Secreto Bar and Loggia in Santa Fe, N.M., snagged the grand prize with his Primavera cocktail. For 2011, a panel of Southern Wine & Spirits mixologists will score the cocktails: Bridget Albert, Jason Girard, Allen Katz, David Nepove, Armando Rosario, Arturo Sighinolfi, Michael Trujillo and Chandra Lam.

Shake It Up! is a must-see event for all attendees. The stage area is always packed with eager viewers craning their necks to get a glimpse of what intriguing concoction these top mixologists will craft next.

“Shake It Up! is dedicated to share the finest experience in cocktail competition history, where the greatest mixologists will surely provide you with inspiration, passion and creativity,” says Francesco Lafranconi, director of mixology for Southern Wine & Spirits and host of the competition.
If you want to share your original recipes and elevate the craft of the cocktail, get online and visit ncbshow.com to enter. Here’s hoping we can celebrate your $25,000 victory in Vegas! NCB


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