San Diego Spirits Festival salutes five years of fine hooch

Saluting five years of easy love for the hard stuff, the San Diego Spirits Festival kicks off on Saturday, August 24 at the Broadway Pier Port Pavilion.

The two-day jubilee promises cocktails, culinary confections, and craft culture via live entertainment, bartender battles, chef-offs, burlesque performances, and a fashion show.

This year’s festival will see the debut of the San Diego International Spirits Competition, in which spirits stalwarts Lance Mayhew and Skip Raddle will be presenting awards for best spirits in their respective categories based on blind tasting and analysis.

But wait for the clincher.

MÖTLEY CRÜE jefe Vince Neil will be on hand to showcase his premiere Tatuado liquor line with a two-day meet-and-greet between 1 and 5 p.m.

Tickets are 90 bucks and include unlimited tastings of pretty much anything you can imagine from a bevy of breakout booze vendors.

The chef/bartender shakedown will be held at the Hilton Carlsbad Resort & Spa (1 Ponto Road – Carlsbad) on Sunday, July 28, when teams of two will compete to create a signature cocktail with a small plate pairing.

Participating chefs and bartenders include:

• Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa- Executive Chef Pascal Vignau and Bartender Herman Ochoa

• Roy's of La Jolla -- Chef Charles Andres and Bartender Brian Norris

• Chi Cuisine -- Chef Scotty Wagner and Bartender Antonio Gonzales

• L`Auberge Del Mar -- Chef Jon Bautista and Bartender Mike Yen

• Cusp -- Executive Chef Donald Lockhart and Bartender Nate Howell

• Rancho Valencia -- Executive Chef Eric Bauer and Bartender Justin Wilson

• Marina Kitchen -- Aron Schwartz and Bartender Christopher Simmons

• EGO Culinary Trends -- Chef Chad White and Bartender Oscar Takahashi

Judges: Troy Johnson, Rich Manning, David Chenille, Michael Spradley

Live music by Gipsy Mencot.

San Diego Spirits Festival was founded and launched in San Diego in 2009 by Liz Edwards. San Diego Spirits Festival is a nationally acclaimed celebration of cocktail culture, and is the premiere West coast spirits festival held on the beautiful San Diego bay. With bartender competitions, tastings, seminars and parties, the festival offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity for brands to be supported and gain recognition among San Diego’s cocktail and culinary community and beyond.

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