Brattleboro cocktail contest comes to The Marina

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BRATTLEBORO >> The best of bartenders will be facing off against each other in a friendly contest this month.

"It should be a pretty fun event," said Drew Kacik, marketing and promotions manager at Saxtons River Distillery. "We're trying to branch out to more bartenders. We're going to have new faces."

He expects to see some bartenders from Keene, N.H., and possibly Northampton, Mass., at The Marina Mix Off on Tuesday, March 15, which starts at 7 p.m.

The event will be highlighting local bartenders, and Saxtons River Distillery's sapling rye whiskey and perc coffee liqueur, said Kacik of the second event for the distillery which is sponsoring the event along with The Marina. Tickets are $10 and include samples of all the cocktails. Also, a buffet will keep attendees from getting hungry.

A cocktail competition will begin at 9 p.m. But drinks will be mixed starting at 7:15 p.m. Door prizes will be given away. A raffle will feature local merchandise and gift certificates.

The last event was held at Duo Restaurant, another Brattleboro establishment. The Marina event "should equate into more of a party," noted Kacik.

"Duo was a party as well," he said. "But this will be a more lighter atmosphere."

Efforts to organize competitions began after Kacik saw similar events in other areas of the United States. He has tended bar in several states.

On returning to Vermont, Kacik started up Green Mountain Mixology. He got the group together in hopes of promoting local bartenders and products. He no longer runs the group.

"We created a really nice buzz," Kacik said. "We created a lot of awareness. I think it was a good starting point."

Bartenders interested in competing can e-mail dkacik@saxtonsriverdistillery.com. Kacik already has about five or six participants signed up. He said he'd like to keep to have 10 altogether.

Winners of the local competitions could be moving on to a bigger event.

"The goal is to create a New England finals mix off at a location to be announced," Kacik said.

Contact Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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