Park City Restaurant Association adds some kick to its annual summer cocktail contest |

Park City Restaurant Association adds some kick to its annual summer cocktail contest

Competition runs June 1-Aug. 31

High West Distillery mixologist Robbie Remmes shows off his "Devils Addition" cocktail. Remmes is the winner of last year's cocktail contest, presented by the Park City Area Restaurant Association. The association will extend this year's contest to help bars and restaurants recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo by Holly Booth

The Park City Area Restaurant Association plans to shake up its annual summer cocktail contest this year.

Instead of one month of sipping and tasting, the competition — which features spirited creations by mixologists from local bars and restaurants — will run for three months, from June 1-Aug. 31, said Ginger Wicks, Park City Area Restaurant Association executive director.

The contest’s name has also been changed to Savor the Cocktail, she said.

“We’ve made some adjustments to hopefully help the restaurants in their recovery efforts coming out of the crazy year we have experienced with the pandemic,” Wicks said. “This will also give diners — local residents and visitors — a longer timeframe to get out and enjoy the various cocktails and vote on their favorites.”

Another reason why the association made the adjustment was because of the amount of entries in past contests, according to Wicks.

“In any given year we’ve had between 15 to 25 or more entries, so only running the contest for one month is pretty challenging for everyone to get out and try each cocktail before voting,” she said with a laugh. “So this is a way for people to enjoy these cocktails in a more safe and responsible format. And it makes the event a fun summer campaign and promotion contest.”

The summer cocktail contest started in 2004, as a way to show — in contrast to the stereotype — that it is possible to get a drink in Utah, Wicks said.

“They used to host it in person at one of our establishments, and we would have a panel of judges who would taste and vote,” she said.

The association later decided to move the voting to an online format for two reasons, Wicks said.

“One reason is because of the challenge of hosting a contest with our current liquor laws,” she said. “The other reason is we felt it was important for the mixologists to have community members themselves vote on the cocktails, and not just have a few judges do the voting.”

The online voting allows everyone ages 21 and older to participate, and the links drive business to the participating establishments, Wicks said.

High West Distillery mixologist Robbie Remmes won last year’s contest with his double rye-based, pineapple- and matcha-infused drink, “Devil’s Addition.”

“The main goal of the restaurant association is to support our members and give them business,” she said.

Cocktail contest winners take home $500 and get the opportunity to collaborate with Top Shelf, a professional bartending service.

In addition, the cocktail is then offered in all of the participating bars and restaurants, Wicks said.

“What a fun thing for the mixologists to put on their thinking caps and go head-to-head to earn bragging rights for the year,” she said.

Voters can visit and click the link that shows all the contest entries, Wicks said.

“They will be able to see the recipes and see photos of the drinks,” she said. “Since voters do have to be ages 21 and older, they are required to enter their email.”

Voters will receive a response, confirming the email address is valid and that the voter is old enough to participate, according to Wicks.

“Voters will have the ability to vote for multiple cocktails, but will only get to vote for any given cocktail once,” she said. “Throughout the years, Park City’s culinary efforts have become very well recognized around the world, and through this contest, our mixologists are being more recognized as well. We have some pretty amazing mixologists.”

Park City Area Restaurant Association’s Savor the Cocktail Contest

When: June 1-Aug. 31


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