This Sunday, May 21, 16 bartenders from regions across America will compete for the title of Ms. Speed Rack 2017, an all-female craft cocktail competition in New York City. Speed Rack, which has a decidedly bad-ass biker/rocker vibe complete with pink Hot Wheel flame decals, is a round robin-style competition with timed head-to-head cocktail making matches scrutinized by a panel of industry expert judges.
Speed Rack was founded by master mixologists Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero to help shine a spotlight on female mixologists thriving behind bars and to simultaneously raise money for breast cancer research, education, and prevention.
“The idea was to create a cocktail competition for the ladies – one that celebrated women, was created by women and supported women in and out of the spirits industry,” Marrero and Mix write on their website.
“Speed Rack has helped put a spotlight on the female talent in the industry for the last six years,” Marrero tells New Worlder. “Having more women move up in the cocktail world has created more opportunity for all and has helped give each other a support network within the community. If we can see it, we can be it. That is what the exposure has helped do, globally.”
In the first year alone, Speed Rack gathered over 200 bartenders across the country and raised over $69,000 for breast cancer research. Now in its sixth year, Speed Rack works directly with SHARE Cancer Support and has donated to both the Pink Agenda and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, as well as providing hundreds of mammograms through the National Breast Cancer Foundation. “We have provided funding for under-insured bartenders to get important screenings and we hope to expand that for more hospitality through partners in different cities, starting with NYC,” shares Marrero.
As far as the competition for 2017 goes, Mix tells us, “Speed Rack keeps getting bigger and bigger and the competition more fierce. Our industry is also growing at an exponential pace. There are veteran Speed Rackers competing and quite a few new faces and I think it’s anyone’s game.” Here is the lineup of this weekend’s competitors:
We found the baddest 16 ladies traveling across 8 regions in the US of A! See you Sunday, May 21 for the showdown of Ms Speed Rack USA! Get your tickets – SRs6Finals.eventbrite.com 100% of proceeds benefit Breast Cancer research + Prevention. #WomenWednesday #BackTheRack #SpeedRack #Finals #BreastCancer #Charity #Bartending #Bartender #Mixology #NYC #NewYork#InstaCocktails #NastyWomen
Tickets are available through Eventbrite for $25 or $30 at the door and invites guests to sample crafted punches and enjoy bites from local establishments while watching the bartenders “duke it out.” Check out a recap of the New York City Season 6 competition below; mixologist Anna Wingfield will be competing this Sunday.