There is no better word for Speed Rack than girl power! Gatherings of the best female bartenders across the United States supported by male bar backs and crowds of people gathered to watch them compete. The venue awash in people sporting pink apparel. All money donated to the fight against breast cancer!
Speed Rack is round-robin style competition that focuses on a bartender’s speed, accuracy and presentation skills. The competition was developed by Ivy Mix and Lynette Marrero of the New York City chapter of Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC) as a way to promote female bartenders. While the ladies from New York City’s LUPEC pioneered the concept, they also had the brilliant idea to turn it into a national competition. Local competitions have already occurred in New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Houston with two more in Chicago and Las Vegas. The winners of each local competition and selected wildcard participants will meet in a final showdown in New York City on May 10.
Each competition is a fierce, nerve-wracking event. The best female bartenders gather in each city. Preliminary rounds are held and only the top seven to eight competitors advance to the final round. As the crowds mass, the finalists prepare. The showdown starts, drinks are called, mixed and judged by a panel of industry luminaries based on accuracy, speed and presentation. This continues until only one remains.
In San Francisco, the house was filled with a raucous crowd. House music pumped through the air. You could feel the electricity pulsing and vibrating. People thronged the stage in the center of the room where the bartenders competed gladiator style. You could hear members of the crowd shouting out the name of their favorite contender. The bartenders’ brows furrowed and glistened as they concentrated in an intense race against the clock and each other. Each woman was on a mission to pump out drinks there were more precise, tastier, prettier and made in less time than their competitor.
San Francisco Speed Rack was an epic event! The competition fierce. The crowd engaged. The punches and cocktails supreme. In the end, Jill Webster was crowned Miss Speed Rack San Francisco and will be representing our fair city in the final competition in New York. We can’t wait – Girl Power!
As a side note, Jill tends bar at Lazlo if you want to try her cocktails.