Official Drink of Austin event returns May 12, with tickets now available

Bartenders will make a bunch of original cocktails during the Official Drink of Austin competition, hoping to capture the hearts and taste buds of attendees. The competition returns May 12.

Bartenders will make a bunch of original cocktails during the Official Drink of Austin competition, hoping to capture the hearts and taste buds of attendees.

Austin’s biggest cocktail competition, the Official Drink of Austin, returns next month with more boozy creations from nine local bar teams. Tickets for it are on sale now at $45 each.

As it has in past years, the Official Drink of Austin brings together groups of bartenders from various bars around the city — often, the best ones we have to offer — to compete for the top title. The event, which benefits the Austin Food & Wine Alliance’s culinary grants program, spotlights Texas spirits and also features top-notch bar food from local eateries.

Cocktail guru David Alan resurrected the Official Drink of Austin as a competition a couple of years ago, bringing in the alliance to help with the organization’s funding of a variety of different culinary endeavors.

“Austin has become one of the top cocktail cities in the U.S., and Texas is one of the top states for independent distilleries,” Alan, a professional bartender and author, said in a press release. “With the talent and innovation here, Austin deserves a competition like this. It’s one of the best events in the city.”

Taking place at Fair Market this year, on 1100 E. Fifth Street, the Official Drink of Austin allows attendees to sample the various cocktails vying for the Official Drink of Austin title. Last year’s winner came from Garage’s Chauncy James, whose Indian Paintbrush drink with Dripping Springs Vodka ultimately won over the voters and judges. He and his bar team beat out the likes of Vox Table, Drink.Well, Odd Duck and other top Austin bars — places that may well return for this year’s. (They haven’t been announced yet.)

Once the early-bird tickets for the 7 to 10 p.m. event are gone, ticket prices will jump to $55 online and $65 at the door. To secure your spot, visit austinfoodwinealliance.org.

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