It was a real treat to host the Southwest edition of the sixth annual national Speed Rack tour in Denver and a bigger treat to have a Denver bartender emerge victorious. On Sunday, 21 of the region’s top female bartenders went shaker-to-shaker, competing for industry glory and breast cancer research and Alex Jump, bartender of the RiNo Yacht Club cleaned house. The final round of this regional competition pitted Jump, who is new to the Mile High City, against Nicole Laurita, representing Occidental and Williams & Graham in Denver. The winner advances to the national finals, which will take place in New York on May 21, 2017.
The 21 women took the stage at The Church and competed in timed heats to make rounds of cocktails, culled from a list of 50 accepted industry-standard classic recipes, in front of a panel of judges and a crowd of excited viewers. Judges rated each drink based on prep time and accuracy. The panel of four judges included: Alex Day (partner; Death & Co., Nitecap, The Walker Inn, Honeycut, The Normandie Club), Sean Kenyon (bartender/proprietor; William & Grahams, Occidental).
Over time, Speed Rack has raised more than $500,000 for breast cancer charities in the U.S. and abroad.