A cocktail throwdown for a cause

Annual competition to raise money for a critically injured Vegas bartender


Why is the rum gone, you ask? Because the United States Bartenders Guild will be using it all for the USBG Nevada chapter's annual regional competition, this Monday, April 5, at Frankie's Tiki's Room, beginning at 5 p.m.

The Don Q Rum Mix-Off Cocktail Competition is the just the first stage in a much larger contest. Monday's winner — tasked with creating the best possible cocktail to incorporate Don Q rum — will move on to the semifinals, a national competition held in New York during the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. The winner there goes on to the international finals in Puerto Rico and wins $2,000 for themselves and $5,000 for the charity of their choosing.

This year's event also is itself a charitable one and will be raising money for a critically injured brother in bartending. For the first time, the usually industry-only event will be open to the public on a first-come-first-served basis.

Bellagio bartender Lance Voth, 39, remains hospitalized and in a drug-induced coma after being hit last week while crossing the street at Spring Mountain and Decatur; Voth was reportedly dragged 100 feet by the car, suspected to be stolen. While Voth is insured, he will be unable to work for an extended period and is therefore certain to rack up massive medical bills while bringing in no income.

USBG Nevada chapter president Gaston Martinez asks that attendees please bring cash and come prepared to bid on the competitors' cocktails to raise money for Voth. Frankie's Tiki Room owner P Moss also has generously donated the exclusive use of his 24-hour venue for the competition.


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