(January 20th, 2016 – Tampa, Fla.) – Who makes the best cocktail in Tampa Bay? Creative Loafing (CL) is letting locals decide at the very first craft cocktail competition hosted by CL, HighBall 2017, on Thursday, January 26th, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Kozuba & Sons Distillery (1960 5th Ave. S. in St. Pete).
Featuring local spirits, bartenders, and more, HighBall will showcase craft cocktails created by Tampa Bay’s top mixologists with either whisky, vodka, gin, or rum as they compete to win over attendees’ taste buds. Attendees will be able to suit up and sip their way around more than 15 craft cocktails as they sample and judge the tasty concoctions all for the sake of finding the best whisky, vodka, gin, and rum cocktails, as well as ‘Tampa Bay’s Best Cocktail’ at HighBall 2017.
HighBall highlights three local Tampa Bay area distilleries: Kozuba & Sons Distillery’s Mr. Rye Whisky will be the featured whisky; Florida Cane Distillery’s Tamiami Gin the featured gin; Kozuba & Son’s Distillery’s Vodka the featured vodka; and Drum Circle Distilling’s Siesta Key Rum the featured rum. Four bartenders will compete in each liquor category—whisky, gin, vodka, rum—for a total of 16 bartenders. There will be winners for Best Whisky, Best Gin, Best Vodka, and Best Rum Cocktails, in addition to overall Best Cocktail in Tampa Bay.
Not to mention, Creative Loafing will be celebrating the release of their Cocktail Issue, featuring cocktail trends, touching on everything from smoked cocktails and Japanese whisky to bitters and craft ice—in print and online on January 26th—and the winning HighBall cocktails will be featured at Creative Loafing’s annual Best of the Bay Awards Party in September.
A portion of proceeds to benefit Current Initiatives and their projects, such as the Laundry Project, Hope For Homes, and Affordable Christmas.
Featuring craft cocktails by:
Competing with Kozuba & Sons Vodka:
Casa Tina | Duane Bitter
Mayan Fury | Kozuba & Sons Vodka, fresh ginger root, habanero peppers, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, fresh lime juice, organic agave nectar, & habanero tincture
Cask and Ale | Nicholas Notarpole
Beets by C&A | Kozuba & Sons Vodka, egg white, beet simple syrup, lime juice, Licor 43, & coconut/lime sea salt rimmer
Roux | Kristi Sanchez
Pink Fairy | Kozuba & Sons Vodka, Corsair red absinthe rinse, elderflower, lemon juice, coconut water, & blueberries
The Mill | Chelsea Daniel
Paradiso | Kozuba & Sons Vodka, guava, pink peppercorn, salt, & lime
Competing with Kozuba & Sons Mr. Rye Whisky:
BRGR Kitchen & Bar | Ty Thomas
Smoke’n Ginger | Kozuba & Sons Mr. Rye Whisky, local blueberry mint from BRGR’s vertical wall garden, muddled with honey & lime, topped with ginger beer, & garnished with a smoked candied ginger
Castile Restaurant | Alana Barber
I’ll Have Zamora That | Kozuba & Sons Mr. Rye Whisky, fresh muddled ginger & basil, ginger liqueur, simple syrup, lemon juice, Fever Tree Bitter Lemon, & basil crystals
Datz | Morgan Zuch
White Girl Wasted | Kozuba & Sons Mr. Rye Whisky, White Girl Rosé, lemon juice, champagne raspberry tea simple syrup, rhubarb bitters, Florida strawberries, powdered mini donut, whipped cream, & mint sprig
Flanagan’s Irish Pub | Cory Thompkins
Roasted Orange Rye | Kozuba & Sons Mr. Rye Whisky, roasted blood orange, & rosemary old fashioned
Competing with Siesta Key Rum:
District Tavern | Ryan Fitzgerald
Catch Me If You Cane Gingerbread Daiquiri | Brown butter washed Siesta Key Rum, allspice, molasses, ginger root, & lemon
Iberian Rooster | Brandon Muske
Pimento Promises | Siesta Key Rum, house crafted allspice dram, house made cherry bitters, & lime
The Bricks | Joshua Gonzalez
Sarasota Sling | Siesta Key Rum, guava, tangerine soda, & candied strawberry garnish
Tryst | Pat Lee
Tropical Temptation | Siesta Key Rum, cucumber, orange, strawberry, Myers’s Dark, Bacardi 151, simple syrup, & Ting Ginger Beer
Competing with Tamiami Gin:
Buya | Ryan Pines
Fifth Element | Tamiami Gin, Chareau aloe, kale & cucumber juice, pineapple syrup, ginger bitters, & Q Club Soda
Casey’s Craft Bar Kitchen | Dylan Clements
NY to LV | Tamiami Gin, lemon, dragon peach tea, & Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
Mandarin Hide | Courtney Tonge
Doctor’s Orders | Tamiami Gin, Zucca Amaro, apple, tangerine shrub, lemon juice, & rosemary garnish
The Birch & Vine | Tim Goodrich
Fabuloso Tamiami | Gin, purple rose, rhubarb, hibiscus simple syrup, lemon juice, soda, & violet liqueur
Tickets for HighBall are on sale now and available for purchase at cltampa.com/highball.
General Admission (GA) tickets are $25 in advance now through January 25th and $40 at the door on January 26th. GA includes craft cocktail samples from each restaurant/bar; bites by Ox and Fields Restaurant + Bar, District Tavern, and The Galley: A St. Pete Tavern; and voting in each category.
VIP tickets are $50 in advance now through January 25th and $80 at the door on January 26th. VIP includes early entry for an extra hour of sampling without the crowds from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; craft cocktail samples from each restaurant/bar; bites by Ox and Fields Restaurant + Bar, District Tavern, and The Galley: A St. Pete Tavern; a private VIP area featuring VIP-only perks like food sampling by Casey’s Craft Bar Kitchen and a signature Kozuba & Sons cocktail; and voting in each category.
Tickets are available at cltampa.com/highball.
Complimentary on-site valet will be provided by Select Valet.
Creative Loafing has, once again, teamed up with Lyft to get attendees to and from HighBall safely. First-time Lyft users get their first ride free up to $20 by downloading the app, creating an account, and entering the code CLTAMPA in the ‘Payment’ section.
Attendees are encouraged to stay in-the-know on all event details by RSVPing to the Facebook event here: bit.ly/clhighballfb
Special thanks to our sponsors and partners Kozuba & Sons Distillery, Siesta Key Rum, Tamiami Gin, Ox and Fields Restaurant + Bar, BarSupply.com, Florida Print Solutions, Roundhouse Creative, and Lyft.
For more information on HighBall, including information on purchasing tickets and sponsoring this event, visit cltampa.com/highball. Please use the following hashtag for all digital promotions: #CLHighBall
About Creative Loafing
About Southcomm, Inc.