L.A.'s best female bartenders battle for breast cancer research
On Sunday, a touring bar-tending competition called Speed Rack lands at the historic Blossom Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. It pits 18 of L.A.'s finest female bartenders against each other in a fast-and-furious test of speed and accuracy with the goal of naming the fastest lady mixer in the West.
Los Angeles is the third stop of a 10-city tour that began in New York City and will continue with stops in San Francisco, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Chicago and Washington, D.C., before returning to New York in May 2012 for the national finals where one speedy woman will be crowned Miss Speed Rack.
All of this intoxicating cocktailing is being done with the goal of raising $75,000 for breast cancer research, education and prevention.
Yours truly will be one of four judges at Sunday's competition, which lasts for four tipsy hours (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) in the very same room that the first Oscar ceremony was held in 1929. Joining me will be cocktail consultant Aidan Demarest, Hollis Bulleit of Bulleit Bourbon and cocktail writer and enthusiast Ted Haigh.
The contestants (who are listed after the jump) will each make a round of cocktails from a list of 50 industry standard recipes and be scored according to their stealth and the accuracy of their pours and presentation.
Speed Rack was created by Ivy Mix and Lynette Marrero of the New York group Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails and sponsored by liquors including Absolut, Beefeater, Jameson and Plymouth. L.A. support was provided by 213 and the L.A. branch of the U.S. Bartender's Guild.
The event is open to the thirsty public. Tickets cost $20 and can be purchased at speedrackla.eventbrite.com. Admission includes cocktails, punch, mocktails, food and beer from Abita Brewery.
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Blossom Room, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., L.A.
L.A. Speed Rack competitors:
Anne Marie Ceralvo -- Spare Room
Danielle Crouch -- Caña Rum Bar
Christie D'Abrosca -- Next Door Lounge
Kiowa Bryan -- Eveleigh
Jaclyn Goodyear -- Killer Shrimp in Marina del Rey
Jennifer Lane -- Black Market Liquor Bar
Jen Len -- Drago Centro
Tammy Machicado -- Night & Day Productions, Orange County
Meghan Malloy -- La Descarga
Jaymee Mandeville -- Drago Centro
Mia Mastroianni -- Soho House
Lacey Murillo -- Bar 1886, Black Market
Lindsay Nader -- Harvard & Stone
Gracy Ramirez -- Dog Haus, Pasadena
Mia Sarazen -- Harvard & Stone, Black Market
Naomi Schimek -- Spare Room
Devon Tarby -- The Varnish
Kylee van Dillen -- Westside Tavern
-- Jessica Gelt
Photo: The Spare Room's Naomi Schimek is among the Speed Rack competitors. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times