Showdown bartender Violet Shrock pours Dripping Springs Artisan Gin into a glass during the 2017 Mer-tini Shakedown competition. Daily Record file photo
2019 Mer-tini Shakedown
Local bars and restaurants are gearing up for the annual Mermaid Society SMTX’s Mer-tini Shakedown, a friendly — yet fierce — competition among local mixologists to create the best Mer-tini cocktail using Dripping Springs Vodka.
This Saturday, 14 cocktail masters will represent some of San Marcos’ most popular restaurants and bars and compete for bragging rights, a handcrafted trophy created by a local artist Shawn McGuire and a $250 cash prize. Second place will take home a $150 cash prize.
This year’s Mer-tini competitors include Zelicks, Ivar’s River Pub, Embassy Suites’ Rocky River Grille, Stonewall Warehouse, The Spot, Aquabrew, Sean Patrick’s, Crafthouse, Freddie C's, Black’s Barbeque, Torchy’s, Chimy’s, Jack’s Roadhouse and Industry.
In this high-spirited event, the bartenders will compete to create the best mermaid-inspired martini, or in this case Mer-tini. Each Mer-tini will be considered by a panel of judges tapped by Mermaid Society to evaluate the cocktails based on taste, their ability to factor in mermaid elements in the presentation, creativity and fanfare. The interpretation of the criteria is loose, mermaid elements can be colors, figurines, ingredients or any other way the bar can think to dress the drink.
Two teams of judges will travel from site to site and sip on tasty concoctions to determine who will go to the final competition. Judges will score each category and tally the points to determine a semifinalist from each team. The two semifinalists will then go on to compete at the Shakedown finals to be held on the rooftop during the Mermaid Society Art Ball on Sept. 20. Society Ball guests will then vote for their favorite Mer-tini cocktail and at the end of the night vote cards will be tallied and the champion will be announced.
Those that want to follow along the routes of the two judging teams to cheer on their favorite bars are welcome to attend.
“People are encouraged to come out and root for their favorite bar or their favorite mixologists, and there's a certain percentage of the voting that depends on the fanfare – so the people cheering are important too,” Mermaid Society founder July Moreno said.
The presenting sponsor for the Mer-tini Shakedown is Dripping Springs Distilling.
The 2019 Mer-tini Shakedown Competition will start at 6 p.m. and runs until 10 on Saturday, Sept. 7. For more information, go to Mermaid Society SMTX's website.
Daily Record maps by Colton Ashabranner
The schedule was updated to reflect changes made by Mermaid Society SMTX after the print deadline.