Like the city’s mayor who liked his job so much he took it on two more times, New York City will become, on November 4th, a third time host for the nationally renowned all-female speed bartending charity competition, Speed Rack.
Speed Rack is the first nationwide competition designed to highlight up and coming women in the spirits industry, and build a stronger sense of community while giving back to those impacted by breast cancer. In that effort Speed Rack taps top female bartenders in key cocktail markets and puts them head to head in timed challenges that’s all about the speedy shaking of cocktails, all for the purpose of raising funds for breast cancer charities like SHARE (http://www.sharecancersupport.org) and other charities supporting breast cancer research. The 10-city 2012-2013 tour, which opened in Boston on October 3rd during the Boston Cocktail Summit, follows the success of last year’s Speed Rack competition, which raised over $69,000.
It’s a historical return to NYC on November 4th as Speed Rack was conceived of in this town so nice they named it twice. Prior to the upcoming competition NYC was the site of both the preview competition in June 2011 and the national finals in May 2012. Now it’s time for a second effort to find the fastest female bartender in New York’s tri-state area.
Using sponsors' products* these participating local bartenders are required to make a round of cocktails, culled from a list of 50 accepted industry standard recipes, in front of a panel of judges. Judges will rate each drink based on prep time and accuracy. The judging panel includes spirit industry luminaries such as Dale DeGroff, Julie Reiner, Audrey Saunders, Simon Ford, and locally based hospitality leaders in each city.
Leading the charge are Speed Rack co-founders, Lynnette Marrero and Ivy Mix. Mix, in awe of the impact they’ve had thus far, says, “When this all started, I had NO IDEA it would turn into what it has become.” Marrero is equally excited about the competition’s growth. She
remarks, “I am excited for year two. The level of competition is expected to be higher. I think we will see ladies really pushing the limits. Now that we are a year in people know what to expect. Returning ladies have had time to think about strategy. Girls are running training sessions in their home towns! A lot of the ladies who felt like they have something to prove are ready to come back this year and prove to themselves that they have what it takes. It's exciting.”
After the excitement of the recent competition in Boston, which raised $4,537.00 and put Speed Rack that much closer to its 2012/2013 goal, it’ll be great to see how NYC shows (see competitors’ list below). Following New York it’s off to Tucson on November 18th and Tampa on December 3rd. In 2013 the tour will hit St Louis, San Antonio, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle and Chicago. At each event, attendees enjoy small bites from local restaurants as well as punches and cocktails from each one of our major sponsors.
While ALL of Speed Rack’s sponsors are special it is Remy Cointreau who has provided the ultimate prize for the young lady crowned Miss Speed Rack 2013 - an all inclusive trip for two to France to tour the beauty of the Anjou region and discover the essence of Cointreau production at the Remy Cointreau distillery, courtesy of the brand. In addition the founding Partners of BAR (Beverage Alcohol Resource) are offering a scholarship to their 5 day program http://www.beveragealcoholresource.com/.
So that the winner from every city gets to New York for their shot at the crown and the France trip, Speed Rack’s returning sponsor, St Germain, is guaranteeing each of this year’s local winners a $500 honorarium to compete in the May 2013 finals in NYC.