The Search for LA’s Signature Cocktail Starts Today

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New York has the Manhattan and Paris has the Sidecar. What should LA's cocktail be?

The California Artisanal Distillers Guild, the trade association for the state’s burgeoning craft distillers, and Greenbar Craft Distillery, Los Angeles' first distillery since prohibition, today announced The Search for LA’s Signature Cocktail, a call for the city’s cocktail lovers to help create a drink that embodies Los Angeles today and celebrates it as one of the world’s greenest metropolises.

“California is the birthplace of the local food movement and, with the resurgence of craft distilling, we can now begin setting roots for the local drinks movement,” said Cris Steller, executive director of the California Artisanal Distillers Guild, which represents the state’s more than 30 artisan spiritsmakers. “This Search is a great moment to celebrate and support local artisans.”

Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, added, “California’s artisan distilleries and talented mixologists are an important part of our state’s rich culinary community and make California prime territory for cocktail enthusiasts and culinary tourists in pursuit of the truly local.”

Los Angeles county residents over 21 years old can begin submitting their recipes today, along with a note about why their drink should become the city’s signature cocktail, at Recipes must meet the following criteria to qualify:

  • Principal spirits must be vodka, gin, rum, whiskey or brandy and comprise more than half of all alcohol in the cocktail
  • Secondary spirits can be any distilled spirit, liqueur or bitters and must comprise less than half of all alcohol in the cocktail
  • All principal spirits must be made in LA county (qualifying distilleries: Greenbar ¦
  • Secondary spirits must be made in California (qualifying distilleries: members of the California Artisanal Distillers Guild ¦
  • All fresh ingredients must be grown in California
  • Drink must have 5 or fewer ingredients
  • Drink must have a maximum of 2 oz alcohol, including spirits and liqueurs
  • Drink must have at least 1 fresh ingredient other than citrus
  • Recipe submission deadline is April 30, 2014 11:59 p.m.

Once all submissions are in, area bartenders and mixologists will choose 18 semi-finalists, who will showcase their cocktails in neighborhood get-togethers held at bars and restaurants in Santa Monica, West LA, Downtown LA, Hollywood, East LA and the Valley. Finals will be held live between May 17 and June 15 at a time and venue to be determined. A panel of LA residents will decide on the drink to be named as LA’s Signature Cocktail.

In addition to the Guild and Greenbar, the Search for LA’s Signature Cocktail is made possible by support from KCRW, Los Angeles magazine, LA River Revitalization Co, Craft and Folk Art Museum and Food Forward. If this inaugural event proves successful, the Guild plans to launch similar Searches in major metro areas across the state.

More information about The Search for LA’s Signature cocktail and how to submit recipes is available at Spread the word on social media #LAdrinksearch

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Mimi Mitrius
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