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Battle of the bottle


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The Dairy Center for the Arts is hosting its third annual “Moovers and Shakers” event. Aside from the brilliant play on words in the title, the event itself is just as clever. Each year, the Dairy Center invites six local mixologists to compete in making the best cocktail using a local drink. This year’s challenge is to make something delicious using the Colorado based Dancing Pines Bourbon.

Bottled at 44 percent alcohol content, Dancing Pines Bourbon is a complex spirit from the grains of corn, rye and malted barley. It was also the recipient of a 2013 Good Food Award.

But the real fun comes with designing new drinks. Every year, the Dairy Center puts out a call for local restaurants to participate, and the six spots fill up fast. Working pro-bono, the only thing on the line for the mixologists from Frasca, Mateo, Oak at Fourteenth, Riffs, Salt and West End Tavern are the bragging rights. Oh, and a little cash to walk home with.

“It’s a first come, first serve event and we start getting different places reaching out immediately,” Beth Smith, development manager at the Dairy Center, said. “It’s such a fun event to be a part of, or even attend.”

Attendees of the event will sample each of the new drinks, and cast a vote for their favorite. They’ll also receive a little food at each station, not enough for a meal but enough to hold them over until the event is over.

At the end of the night, two winners will be crowned the maker of the best cocktails. One will be a crowd favorite voted by the attendees, while a panel of judges will decide the other.

Last year’s winners, Mateo and Oak at Fourteenth, are returning to try and reclaim the title, but they won’t win it without a fight as returning competitors and a few newcomers aren’t going down the drain that easily.

“It’s a good way to start a Monday night, and then afterward they can go to the restaurants and enjoy a nice dinner. Enjoy a few more cocktails and get a better taste for their favorite mixologists,” Smith said.

“Moovers and Shakers” is Monday, May 11 at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $55 in advance or $60 at the door and that includes a commemorative glass.

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