Speedracklogoblack_pinkI’m helping to judge a cocktail contest in which bad-ass women bartenders make cocktails as fast as they can and then we judge how they actually taste. You are in charge of cheering and drinking.

You should buy a ticket because this involves:

  1. Significant numbers of cocktails on a Sunday afternoon with pretty much everyone good in the local bartending community.
  2. Empowerment of female bartenders.
  3. The money goes toward breast cancer education, prevention and research.

This is 100% win.

The contestants are:

  • Victoria Damato-Moran- Belden Taverna
  • Rhachel Shaw- Rye
  • Brooke Arthur- Wo Hing
  • Tina Ross- Rickhouse
  • Jennifer Colliau- Slanted Door/Small Hands Foods
  • Gabrielle Barnes- Cantina
  • Jennifer Embleton- Rye
  • Yael Amyra- The New Easy
  • Jessica Maria- Hotsy Totsy Club (Albany)
  • Claire Sprouse- Rickhouse
  • Jill Webster- Lazlo
  • Lauren Steele- Rickhouse/Bourbon and Branch
  • Melissa Boyd- Beretta
  • Lucia Creed Gonzales- Prizefighter (Emeryville)
  • Keli Rivers- Hotsy Totsy (Albany)
  •  Kim Rosselle Flora/ Dona Tomas
  • Gail Izaguirre- Laszlo
  • Danielle Marchant- 222 Hyde

These guys will be the barbacks: Dominic Venegas (formerly of Range, Rye, Gitane, etc.), Jon Santer (Prizefighter), Neyah White (former NOPA now Yamazaki brand ambassador), Kevin Diedrich (Jasper’s Corner Tap), Danny Ronen (omnipresent), Marcovaldo Dionysos (Smuggler’s Cove), Marc Goldfine (83 Proof), Trevor Easter (Heaven’s Dog), Tony Devencenzi (Bourbon & Branch), and Adrian Mc Carron (Rye on the Road).

Below are the full details.  FROM THEIR WEBSITE—

Though its been 152 years since gold was spotted in them thar hills, that won’t stop a bevvy of San Francisco’s best female bartenders from rushing to make a great Gold Rush (and 49 other cocktails) in their quest for guts, glory, and the shiny title of Miss Speed Rack San Francisco.

On January 8th the Speed Rack tour teams up with Ananas Consulting and LUPEC SF for its fifth stop on the 10 city tour to find the fastest female bartender in America, while raising funds for breast cancer research and prevention.

Speed Rack is a national cocktail competition that features top female bartenders in key cocktail markets and puts them head to head in timed challenges. It is the first competition to highlight the up and coming generation of strong women in the spirits industry.

Using sponsors’ products* participating 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 features spirits industry includes luminaries Julie Reiner (Flatiron Lounge, Clover Club, Monkey Bar), and Charlotte Voisey (William Grant & Sons), spirits scribe Camper English (, and Chef Josh Thomsen (Executive Chef-Meritage at The Claremont, Star Chefs Rising Star Chef SF). Judges will rate drinks based on prep time and accuracy.

As the only chef on the judges’ panel  Thomsen is thrilled he’ll be surrounded by all these talented women who are moving the whole field of food & beverage ahead by leaps and bounds.  The chef says,”A great kitchen runs smoothly when everyone knows the menu inside out and orders come together accurately and quickly so diners don’t have to wait too long at the table.  The same goes for bartenders.  A good bartender knows her recipes, knows how to set up a bar, and realizes that pre-shift mise en place is as much about getting your mind in the game as it is getting your garnishes all laid out.  Speed Rack puts SF’s best female bartenders to the test.   Let’s see them bring it!”

Bring your passion for great food and cocktails to Brick and Mortar Music Hall and get ready to sip some tasty libations while enjoying bites from Beretta as the San Francisco leg of the tour brings the competition back to the west coast a third time since the success of the inaugural LUPEC NYC (Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails, New York Chapter) Speed Rack competition in New York City this past May.  Speed Rack’s first event raised $3500 and stops in Boston, PDX, LA, and DC have, in total, brought in over $12,000.

After San Francisco’s madness Speed Rack will then travel to other cocktail focused cities with strong LUPEC Chapters including Houston, Denver, Las Vegas, and Chicago; all with the goal of raising $75,000 before the ultimate Miss Speed Rack is crowned in May 2012 at the national finals in NYC.

Created and produced by Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero of LUPEC NYC, Speed Rack is event coordinated by Claire Bertin-Lang of Proof ABV and filmed and photographed by Lush Life Productions.  Each local winner will receive a $500 honorarium courtesy of St-Germain to compete in the May 2012 Finals in NYC.

The grand prize winner will be crowned Miss Speed Rack USA and receive an all inclusive trip for two to France, where they will enjoy the beauty of
the Anjou region and take a tour of the Cointreau distillery and attend the Cointreau Bartender Academie, an educational and intricate program designed to enlighten the trade on the secrets and subtleties of the brand.

Tickets to the event are $25 with a special admission and a Speed Rack tee shirt (with bonus free koozie) package price of $35. They can be purchased online at or $25 at the door.  Your ticket gets you complimentary punches, cocktails, beer and food to enjoy while you take a chance on winning inspired raffle prizes and see who pans out as the winner of this fun and unique competition.

Additional information can be found on the Speed Rack website, on Facebook -www.facebook/speedrackinfo and on twitter @speed-rack. To compete please contact Tickets can be purchased at



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