Martini Mix-Off Finals 

At the Martini Mix-Off Gala at the Boise Art Museum, the question most commonly asked of the judges was, "How can I become a judge?" Well, it's pretty easy. You simply put a $2,000 raffle fee into an envelope and give it to me. Then, at random, I will select the winning seat. No refunds.

Actually, every year organizer Karen Ellis selects an array of experts (like myself and Doug Ally), as well as a few new judges, to create a well-rounded panel with different tastes and experience. After judging 12 bars in an iron-bartender fashion at last Friday's gala night, we chose the winners of the original martini category. The final winners in the classic and specialty categories, as well as the People's Choice award, were also announced. While there were a few surprises this year, with some newer faces finding their way into the winners' circle, some grumbling was heard about the dominance of one particular bartender overall. Rumor has it that he may be considering retirement from the competition after winning the classic category three years in a row. I recommend he not. After all, a fast horse in the lead will pull the herd along.

Classic Martini

1st Place: The MilkyWay

2nd Place: Red Feather Lounge

3rd Place: The Melting Pot

Specialty Martini

1st Place: The MilkyWay

2nd Place: Reef

3rd Place: Pair

Original Martini

1st Place: The MilkyWay

2nd Place: The Piper Pub & Grill

3rd Place: Pair

People's Choice Award

The MilkyWay

If you still have Martini Mix-Off tickets for free drinks that you didn't use during the month of May, you can use them throughout the month of June as well. Now excuse me while my liver and I take a much-needed vacation.

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