Official Drink of Austin competition returns in February

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Professional bartender and author David Alan is helping to organize the Official Drink of Austin competition this year. Tickets for the Feb. 26 event go on sale today for $45.
Professional bartender and author David Alan is helping to organize the Official Drink of Austin competition this year. Tickets for the Feb. 26 event go on sale today for $45.

Photo by Laura Skelding / American-Statesman. Professional bartender and author David Alan is helping to organize the Official Drink of Austin competition this year. Tickets for the Feb. 26 event go on sale today for $45.

What does an Austin-inspired cocktail taste like? Find out on Feb. 26 when the Official Drink of Austin competition returns, pitting local bars and restaurants against each other in a friendly match-up while also raising money for the Austin Food & Wine Alliance’s culinary grants program.

Early bird tickets are $45 and go on sale starting today on the Austin Food & Wine Alliance’s website. They’ll go up to $55 on Feb. 2.

The competition involves, like last year’s, six bar teams from area bars and restaurants mixing up cocktails worthy of being named Austin’s official drink. Along with the judges, you’ll be able to try each of these drinks, as well as snack on food from a variety of local chefs, including Andrew Wiseheart of Gardner and Eric Silverstein of the Peached Tortilla.

This year’s bar teams will be announced on Feb. 6. Last year’s winner, the Qui team helmed by Justin Elliott, took top prize with the Tepache, featuring Balcones Rumble, lemon juice, Texas honey and Qui’s homemade Tepache (a cold, fermented beverage made out of the flesh and rind of pineapple). That’s very Austin, right?

Professional bartender David Alan helped revive the competition last year with the Austin Food & Wine Alliance.

“A lot of the contestants are using local flavors to reflect Austin’s personality in the drinks they’re making for the competition,” he said last year. “I’m not saying you’ll see a queso cocktail, but there were some pretty creative interpretations of what an Austin cocktail is.”

Expect more fun, quirky concoctions this year, too.

Official Drink of Austin. 7 to 10 p.m. Feb. 26. $45-$55. Fair Market, 1100 E. Fifth St. austinfoodwinealliance.org.


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