Tahoe Signature Cocktail Contest to kick off Barton’s Festival of Trees of Lights
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What: Signature Cocktail Contest
When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23
Where: Riva Grill, South Lake Tahoe
Tickets: $35 in advance, $40 on the day of the event
South Shore’s autumn season is just beginning, but an annual cocktail contest this week will feature a little taste of winter.
Barton Foundation’s sixth annual Signature Cocktail Contest takes place Wednesday, Sept. 23, at Riva Grill in South Lake Tahoe.
During the event bartenders from around the South Shore will create their most unique Tahoe Blue Vodka cocktails in an attempt to win over the crowd and get the chance to showcase their concoction to a wider audience. The winner of the contest will receive the opportunity to serve their drink to attendees at the gala of Barton Health’s Festival of Trees and Lights Dec. 5. The festival runs from Dec. 2-6 and features decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, winter decor and local entertainment at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa. The cocktail contest serves as a kickoff for the Festival of Trees and Lights, said event coordinator Sara Conrad.
Drinks rimmed in caramel and sugar, or using ingredients like cotton candy or potato chips, have been featured at the Signature Cocktail Contest in the past. Rumors of a cocktail incorporating a brownie have been swirling around this year’s contest, Conrad said.
In 2014, MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa bartender Ken Newbold won the people’s choice award for “Holidaze,” a cocktail containing smoked Tahoe Blue Vodka, infused hops and homemade cranberry juice, according to a press release for the event.
Bartenders from MontBleu, Lew Mar Nel’s, Tahoe Beach Retreat & Lodge, The Landing Resort & Spa, Riva Grill, Gunbarrel Tavern and Eatery, Heavenly Mountain Resort, Cold Water Brewery & Grill and Artemis Lakefront Cafe are each scheduled to compete in the Signature Cocktail Contest.
All proceeds from the event will help expand medical services and community programs for Barton Memorial Hospital’s Level III Trauma Center. A designated trauma center guarantees coordinated and expedited trauma care leading to better patient outcomes, according to the release. The center also includes injury prevention programs and community outreach to help prevent traumatic injuries.
The Signature Cocktail Contest starts at 5:30 p.m. and ends after the winners are announced at 7:45 p.m. Attendees must be 21 or older. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 on the day of the event. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.bartonhealth.org/cocktail or by calling 530-543-5909. Admission includes cocktail samples, heavy appetizers by Riva Grill and music by Jesse Kalin. Riva Grill is located at 900 Ski Run Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe. The event typically sells out.
“It’s packed and really fun,” Conrad said.