The 2017 May Mix-Off is underway. It kicked off last night at the Mixing Room in the lobby of the JW Marriott. Top bartenders and mixologists from Los Angeles’ most notable bars, restaurants and lounges gather to compete in this annual event. Round One was held last night, but don’t worry that you missed it. Round Two will be held next Wednesday, May 17th and Round Three is set for Wednesday, May 24th. The series culminates in one bartender taking the winning title and grand prize, a trip to Tales of the Cocktail national bartender competition.
Each week, the bartenders are tasked with creating two original cocktails. The first cocktail must feature a predetermined spirit and the other a “mystery spirit,” that is not revealed until the competition starts. Competitors have access to the array of spirits, fresh juices, and seasonal garnishes from The Mixing Room bar, and may pre-batch their own ingredients, as well. In true bracket format, the winners from each week’s round compete against each other in the finals, recreating their winning cocktail and one new drink.
A line-up of expert judges will cast their votes based on taste, presentation, performance, and the energy of the supporting crowd. As an added interactive element, you and your friends get to sample mini versions of the cocktails and then vote for your favorite competitor creations.
Here is a list of this year’s competitors:
- Mario Tecuaoacho / Big Bar/Alcove
- Asaf Zigdon / Upper West
- Jean Paul Shenkman / Westin Bonaventure
- Luke Wederdrook / The Basement Tavern
- Kelvin / Cana Bar
- Omar Flores / JW Marriott
- Jason Yu / White Horse
- Jake Larewe / Playa Provisions
- George Garcia / Frankies/ ep&lp
- Russell Peña / Abigaile
- Ricky Mendez / Blue Gold
- Niki Kotantoulas / Manuela
- Cole Dickey / Spread Mediterrean
- Sam Wickham / The Pikey
- Jeremy Lake / Lost property
- Dorian Bey / Townhouse
- Brett / Craft Hill
If you don’t get enough free tastings, there are specialty cocktails available for purchase at the Mixing Room bar. There is also a pop-up taco stand if you need a bite to eat.
THE MIXING ROOM 900 W. Olympic Blvd (inside the lobby of the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE) 213.765.8600 lalivemarriott.com