Spirits will be raised at Rye on Market this weekend when the new NuLu establishment holds its first annual Louisville Cocktail Competition.

Note: This is no amateur hour, so don’t show up with your uncle’s favorite Bloody Mary recipe. T

This is serious business and will feature some of our town’s outstanding bartenders.

Scheduled to compete, joining Rye’s own Scott Kirkpatrick, are:

Chris Wilkins of Proof on Main; Susie Hoyt of Silver Dollar; Michael Anderson of The Seelbach Bar; Jacquelyn Zykan of La Coop; Bradley Hammond of Meat; Kevin Bois of Garage Bar; Jason Cobbler of Harvest; Michael Shelly of Doc Crows; and Chris George of St. Charles Exchange.

The event is sponsored by Old Forester and each bartender has been asked to offer his individual take on one of three Kentucky classic bourbon drinks: the mint julep, the old-fashioned and The Seelbach, the hotel bar’s 95-year-old cocktail that includes bourbon, Cointreau, Angostura bitters and Peychaud’s bitters, Champagne and a lemon twist.

The bartenders are expected to bring a number of their learned twists to individualize these drinks.

For example, Rye’s Kirkpatrick will be making The Fallbach, adding acorn squash to the Seelbach recipe.

Which is appropriate, since the judges will be grading the drinks on four criteria, of which seasonality is one. The other three: creativity, taste and presentation.

The event is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. on Sun., Oct. 14 in Rye’s parking lot at 900 E. Market St. in NuLu.

Admission is free, but drinks are not.

People interested in attending should begin by picking up a passport at one of the 10 competing establishments. Buy the special drink and you get a stamp on your passport. Five stamps will earn you one free drink at the event.

Otherwise, tickets will be sold on site: A $6 ticket buys a drink or a bowl of Rye’s chile; $20 buys four drinks.

Deejay Freakage will be supplying the music.

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Steve Kaufman
Steve Kaufman has been writing professionally since the Johnson administration (Lyndon, not Andrew) on all manner of subjects, from sports to city hall to sales and marketing to running a medical practice to designing stores. His journey has taken him from Chicago to Buffalo to New York to Atlanta to Cincinnati, before landing, finally, in Louisville.

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