The Mixology Shakedown

Never in my life have I ever been called a food expert or cocktail connoisseur. I just really like food. However a few weeks ago I was honored to be invited to judge a whiskey cocktail competition up at La Vista! This lovely restaurant is located at the RiverWalk Grand Hotel at Loon Mountain Resort and is gorgeous. The views of the nearby mountains were perfectly picturesque, even with a steady rain.

I was invited by the M.S. Walker team (thanks Annie!) to judge one of the regional competitions that was presented by The Hippo and the West Cork Distillers, whose whiskey was used in the competitions. My two co-judges and I were responsible for judging 9 cocktails from the northern and western parts of New Hampshire.

Here’s a look at the aftermath of the competition! I am sworn to secrecy about the winning mixologist’s ingredients, but I can tell you that we tried some amazing drinks with some very unique flavor combinations. We also got to try La Vista’s homemade pizzas and warm cookies. It was probably the best way to spend a rainy afternoon in the mountains!

If fun cocktails are your thing I have an event for you. The four regional winners are coming together on Monday, June 26th and they are throwing a party! This event is open to the public, although there are a limited number of tickets available. The Mixology Shakedown Cocktail Competition will be held at O Steaks and Seafood in Concord. Event goers will snack on hors d’oeuvres and have the opportunity to sample all four cocktails, as well as vote for the People’s Choice Winner! Learn more about this fun event and purchase tickets here. In addition to having a fun night and sampling delicious cocktails, a portion of all ticket sales will benefit Symphony New Hampshire.

Unfortunately I will be out of town on June 26 but I hope you are able to make it! This sounds like such a fun event and I’m happy that they are promoting local businesses and talented mixologists from around the state. The four competing mixologists are Andew Johnson from 815 in Manchester, Jennifer Chipman from La Vista, Elias Kassner from The Green Elephant in Portsmouth, and Rachael Jackson from MT’s Local Kitchen and Wine Bar in Nashua. Good luck to everyone!

Have you discovered any unique, tasty food or drinks lately? Let us know! Be sure to email us at to share your ideas of any New Hampshire related food/drink/venue/organization that you think should be featured in our “Eat Drink Play” blog posts.

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