Not even the cold wind or the threat of rain could keep attendees away from this year’s Perfect Pour Craft Cocktail Competition! The fourth-annual event, which took place on Saturday, March 9, invited partygoers to transport back in time to the 1940s for a post-war era celebration featuring cocktails made with Smooth Ambler Contradiction whiskey.
The beautiful Scoular Ballroom in Omaha set the stage for this year’s event, with music provided by local jazz band On The Rocks and swing dancers from Jitterbugs keeping the dance floor lively. In addition to the live music and dancing, the event featured a silent auction, a raffle, and live painting from Lincoln-based artist Sarah Craw.
Our top 6 qualifying mixologists were tasked with creating unique concoctions using Smooth Ambler Contradiction whiskey. The finalists came from all over and included Phil Athy from Mercury in Omaha, Deion Bass from Howard & Fine in Omaha, Rachel Nelson from Mode de Vie in Omaha, Sidra Akhter from Spirit World in Omaha, Joscelyn Ragone from Mercury, and Michael Stelzner from The Other Room in Lincoln.
The Judges’ Choice award, selected by judges from the Nebraska Chapter of the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild, went to Sidra Akhter for her beautiful (and delicious!) cocktail called “The Conciliation.” At a close second, the judges’ runner up was Joscelyn Ragone and her “Love Potion #9.” The People’s Choice Award, determined by attendees’ vote tickets, was given to Phil Athy for his innovative “Arson in Appalachia” concoction.
Between the decadent drinks and the delicious food, which included tantalizing mini sliders and fries, everyone went home satisfied after an evening of great music, lively dancing, and generous support of Nebraska Children’s mission to strengthen families and help prevent challenges from turning into crises.
Our deepest thanks go out to our sponsors – Smooth Ambler Spirits, Attitude on Food, the Olson Foundation, and Ridgeview Animal Hospital – and to the Friends of Nebraska Children guild for their hard work on making this event come to life each year. Last but certainly not least, we thank all of the attendees who came and enjoyed the evening and supported this important work happening across Nebraska by helping us to raise more than $40,000. We’ll see you next year!