Four finalists competed in the Festival’s 2013 Official Mixologist Competition presented by the Charleston City Paper at The Alley last week. Each mixologist created an original cocktail utilizing one of William Grant & Sons’ Art in the Age spirits – Root, Snap, Rhuby or Rhubarb Tea.  The finalists were selected by a panel of judges from an original group of 28 submissions.

Finalists Evan Powell, Joe Raya, William Grant & Sons Brand Ambassador Charlotte Voissey, Hallie Arnold and Justin Simko

The finalists included:

Hallie Arnold, The Grocery: All About the Benjamins

Evan Powell, Republic Reign: The Rhuby Sipper

Joe Raya, The Gin Joint: The Sharecropper Collins

Justin Simko, Husk Bar: The Poor Woodcutter

Guests at the party were invited to sample each cocktail and vote on their favorite to help determine the People’s Choice. Home Team Kitchen provided a delicious array of hors d’oeuvres including arancini, chicken salad bites and deviled eggs two ways. The Charleston City Paper also hosted a bowling lane for guests to compete for prizes.

William Grant & Sons Brand Ambassador Charlotte Voissey announced the winner of the competition, Joe Raya of The Gin Joint. His creation, The Sharecropper Collins, will be served as the signature cocktail at Opening Night: Salute to Charleston’s Chefs presented by The Art Institute of Charleston. Hallie Arnold of The Grocery was named People’s Choice winner for her cocktail, All About the Benjamins.

Winner Joe Raya of The Gin Joint

While the Mixologist Competition was an invitation-only event, there is still a chance to join in on the fun! The four finalists will face off again in a re-match at the Culinary Institute of Charleston presents Iron Mixologist: Charleston on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. All four finalists will compete in this multi-round competition hosted by William Grant & Sons Brand Ambassador Charlotte Voisey and Tony Abou-Ganim, the “Modern Mixologist.” Guests at this fun, happy hour-style event will get to sample cocktails from each participant! Tickets are $55 per person and available for purchase here.

Photos courtesy Andrew Stephen Cebulka.