Liquor and fast women: what's not to love?
I should clarify, though: A few days ago, I attended Speed Rack, a fundraiser for breast-cancer research organized by LUPEC NYC's Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero and emceed by USBG's James Menite. It was interesting, because it paired a speed-bartending competition with an appreciation of a quality cocktail. Here's how it worked: Four judges (Dale DeGroff, Audrey Saunders, Julie Reiner, and Time Out NY's Jordana Rothman) would each pick a cocktail:
Then, two bartenders would set about furiously making all four drinks simultaneously (Ivy Mix told Inside F&B's Francine Cohen that "Speed Rack started as a joke I had with a bartender in San Francisco about getting women to double shake on camera") and, when finished, slap a buzzer which recorded their time. The drinks were delivered to the judges, and the judges then evaluated the finished cocktails for temperature, balance, adherence to the recipe, garnish, correct glassware, and all sorts of things, and their demerits would add to the bartenders' times.
The whole thing was a blast, with good music pumping, lots of cheering and energetic and light-hearted trash talk, and a convivial, friendly atmosphere. It was definitely an industry event, but lots of people who weren't in the industry were there and felt welcomed. A $10 donation got you in the door and as much punch (three different ones!) or gin & tonic as you wanted, and T-shirts, beer, and food (from Mayahuel, including a fantastic carnitas taco) were available for purchase as well.
Another note: I think we've all been to poorly-organized events (fundraisers often seem to be the worst for this), where food and beverage run out, where there are ponderous delays in the entertainment, where sponsors weren't wrangled well, where decision-making was muddled and no one knew what came next. This event didn't suffer from any of that, and speaks to the organizational abilities of Mix and Marrero.
Wanna see more? Here's a gallery of some pictures from the event: