GROVE Wins Big in Set The Bar Cocktail Competition

Good Bite

Pictured: Bartender Rhiannon Mahon celebrating two wins for her Hiatus Tequila cocktail, alongside one of the event's judges Brandon Weppner. Photo taken by Zach Dauth

 

Last Friday, the Sarasota-Manatee Originals did not disappoint in shaking things up their highly-anticipated 2021 Set The Bar - Cocktail Competition Benefiting Embracing Our Differences. Hosted at Ed Smith Stadium for an evening of drinks, food and fun, The Originals encouraged attendees to “Sip Like A Local” as the crowd enjoyed the sun setting over the baseball field and experienced specially-crafted cocktails from 25 locally-owned restaurants as well as bites from Restaurant Members. Equally distributed amongst five different spirit brands who sponsored the event—New Amsterdam Vodka, Hiatus Tequila, Papa's Pila Rum, Waterloo Gin and Treaty Oak Distilling—attendees were able to cast their vote for their favorite cocktail to take home the top prize as People's Choice.

Of the spirit-specific winners—chosen by a select group of judges—bartenders Tobias Halk and Daniel Garcia of Miguel's Restaurant won first place for New Amsterdam Vodka with their cocktail 'Porn Star;' bartender Rhiannon Mahon of GROVE won first place for Hiatus Tequila with her cocktail 'Grove Loma;' bartender Andrea Wilsie of Jack Dusty Coastal Cuisine won first place for Papa's Pilar Blonde Rum with her cocktail 'The Golden Daiquiri;' bartender Anthony Rizzo  of Duval's Fresh Local Seafood won first place for Treaty Oak "Red Handed" Bourbon for his cocktail 'Solar Eclipse;' and finally, bartenders Andrea Zahn and Jennifer Bruggemann of El Melvin Cocina Mexicana won first for Waterloo Gin No.9 for their cocktail 'El Pajaro Borracho.' 

Once the winners were announced, The Originals Executive Director Sarah Firstenberger culminated the event with one last award—the cocktail garnering the most votes throughout the course of the event from Set The Bar's thirsty crowd. Earning the title of the night and crowned 'People's Choice' was Rhiannon Mahon of GROVE for her cocktail 'Grove Loma,' encompassing Hiatus Tequila Blanco infused with cucumber and pineapple, agave, lime, fresh mint, topped with a grapefruit Jarritos float and a Tajin-dusted rim with cucumber garnish.

The night culminated in dozens of creatively decorated booths, good-hearted, friendly competition, drinks shared by many, community support and the proceeds benefitting Sarasota nonprofit, Embracing Our Differences. Cheers to every member restaurant who participated and every attendee who got through the entire list sampling every one of the 25 cocktail creations on display.

The Sarasota-Manatee Originals network promotes and sustains over 60 independent area restaurants and provides diners with a comprehensive resource of some of the finest locally-owned keepsakes throughout Florida’s Suncoast. Remember to “Eat Like A Local” and check out eatlikealocal.com or @941originals socials for restaurant updates, promotional deals and upcoming events. 

Pictured: Bartender Rhiannon Mahon celebrating two wins for her Hiatus Tequila cocktail, alongside one of the event's judges Brandon Weppner. Photo taken by Zach Dauth

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