An event with swizzle: Preservation Libations Mix-Off | Rock Candy

Thursday, June 18, 2015

An event with swizzle: Preservation Libations Mix-Off

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 2:53 PM

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William Faulkner said, "Put a beetle in alcohol and you have a scarab; put a Mississippian in alcohol and you have a gentleman." Which put me in mind of preservation via alcohol, and thus "Preservation Libations Happy Hour Mix-Off," the upcoming fundraiser for the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas next Thursday, June 25, at the Albert Pike Memorial Temple.

Here's how this event works: Eight Central Arkansas bartenders will compete for "People's Choice" and "Master Mixologist" awards. In the first round, everyone attending will sample the bartenders' mixological skills — they'll be serving their favorite "pre-prohibition drinks" (presumably because they are of an era that HPAA seeks to preserve) — and vote for their favorite drinks by putting swizzle sticks in containers at each bartender station. You can get more than one swizzle stick but it will cost you — $2! In round two, the bartenders will mix drinks for the "Best in the Business" judges, who'll award the "Master Mixologist" award.

Tending bar will be Sarah Harrington (Heights Taco & Tamale); Merrick Fagan (Trio's); Spencer Mahan (SO); Michael Peace (109 & Co.); Neil Pedrick (Ciao Baci); Ben Seay (Big Orange); Kevis Smith (Cache), and Luiggi Uzcategui (Afterthought Bistro & Bar). Judges are Matt Bell (South on Main chef); Jamie Brandon (president of Preserve Arkansas); Phil Brandon (Rock Town Distillery); Christopher Crane (Arkansas Film Commission); Kramer Darragh (Darragh Co.); Joel DiPippa, cocktail aficionado; Spencer Jansen (formerly of the Capital Hotel) and Blair Wallace (De Nux Distributors). 

In case you are thinking that eight samples at two ounces each, which works out, I believe, to 16 ounces of booze, won't be enough, there will be an open bar serving beer and wine. This evening, you'll be a gentleman or gentlewoman for sure, even if you are not from Mississsippi. 

There will be heavy hors d'oeuvres to soak up some of the booze and music by the Funkanites. The event runs 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $40 to $2,500. (HPPA members get a $5 discount.)

Now, about those pre-Prohibition drinks: I checked out some on the Internet and discovered that a favorite drink of my youth — which was post-Prohibition, thank you — is 19th century refreshment: The Tom Collins. Love to have one of those, especially if it meant my dollars were going to the HPAA, which works to preserve Arkansas's tangible history.

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