Creative Loafing Announces Cocktail Details For HighBall Craft Cocktail Competition 2018

Who makes the best craft cocktail in Tampa Bay? Creative Loafing is letting locals decide at the second annual craft cocktail competition hosted by CL, HighBall 2018, on Thursday, January 25th, 2018 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Nova 535 (535 Dr. M.L.K. Jr. St. N. in St. Pete).

Featuring notable spirits, bartenders, and more, HighBall 2018 will showcase craft cocktails created by Tampa Bay's top mixologists with either whisky, vodka, gin, or rum as they compete to win over attendees' taste buds. Attendees will be able to sample their way around unlimited craft cocktails as they judge the tasty concoctions all for the sake of finding the best whisky, vodka, gin, and rum cocktails, as well as 'Tampa Bay's Best Cocktail' at HighBall 2018.

Competing cocktails will be mixed with Kozuba & Sons Distillery Mr. Rye Whisky, St. Pete Distillery's Old St. Pete Tropical Gin, Tito's Handmade Vodka, and Copper Bottom Craft Distillery's Silver Rum.

Featuring craft cocktails by:

Made with St. Petersburg Distillery's Old St. Pete Tropical Gin

CW's Gin Joint | "Grace" by Rory Martin
Gin, citrus, tea, & spiced pear liquor.

Park & Rec | "Kiui" by Terrance Devon
Gin, kiwi, & honeydew.

Pisces Sushi & Global Bistro | "The Boujie Bramble" by Jeanie Luce
Gin, housemade honey & lavender simple syrup, & a hint of grapefruit juice and Yuzu, topped with housemade blueberry syrup, garnished with Yuzu blueberry brittle & dehydrated grapefruit.

The Bricks | "Petal Pop" by Joshua Gonzalez
Gin, rose soda, & truffled honey.

Made with Copper Bottom Craft Distillery Silver Rum

Beach Bar Restaurant | "Buddy Beach Mai Tai" by Jenny Nieto
Rum, Disaronno, Giffard Fruit de la Passion, housemade Buddy Brew coffee cane syrup, fresh pressed mandarin orange & lime, garnished with orchid, pineapple leaves, & hand-carved lime & cocktail cherry flag. A twist on the original Mai Tai using local inspiration & ingredients!

BRGR Kitchen & Bar | "Mai TI" by Robert Cooper
Rum, Cointreau, fresh-squeezed lime juice, pineapple-habañero shrub, & falernum. Inspired by the roots of tiki & contemporary twists on the classics!

Lantern Lane Lounge @ The Birchwood | "Sunny Side" by Tommy Alvarez
Rum, mango shrub, lemon juice, habañero foam, & Korean chilis.

The Living Room on Main | "Sapona" by Ryan Cathey
Rum, Thai chili-spiced pineapple, clove, star anise, rum-infused plantain syrup, lemongrass, egg white, & aromatic bitters. Named after a famous rum running ship!

Made with Tito's Handmade Vodka

Buya Ramen | "Texan in Paris" by Ryan Pines
Butterfly tea-infused vodka, Pavan Liqueur, grapefruit, lemon, & agave.

Castile Restaurant | "The Habitual Wanderer" by Juan Rincon
Vodka, blueberries, housemade hibiscus syrup, lemon juice, & Chartreuse Yellow.

Mise en Place | "Terra Ceia" by Lauren Klemm
Vodka, lavender Earl Grey syrup, lemon, & Licor 43, topped with housemade botanical soda, garnished with lavender sprig, dehydrated lemon, & mint.

Noble Crust | "Walker, Texas Ranger" by Theryn Brusini
Vodka, poblano pepper, sweet corn, & lemon.

Made with Kozuba & Sons Mr. Rye Whisky

Iberian Rooster | "Sin & Cider" by Klaus Göpfert
Whisky, Foro Amaro Liqueur, spiced rum, spiced apple cider & vanilla reduction, lemon & aquafaba vegan sour, & smoked cinnamon bark.

Paul's Landing at Vinoy Renaissance Resort | "Kernel of Truth" by Jason Rose
Whisky, fresh corn, aquafaba, butter & pecan-infused Angostura bitters, & lemon juice.

Taps Restaurant Bar & Lounge | "Hustle and Flow" by Scott Wenger
Whisky, cold brew by Made Coffee, Bauchant Liqueur, orange reduction syrup, almond, cinnamon, & coconut.

The Mill Restaurant | "Vermouth? You Can't Handle Vermouth!" by Mike Ciacciarelli
Whisky, cinnamon-infused apricot liqueur, & cranberry-infused sweet vermouth, garnished with a sweet vermouth-soaked cranberry.

Tickets for HighBall are on sale now and available for purchase at This event sold out in 2017.

General Admission (GA) tickets are $30 in advance (now through January 24th) and $40 door (January 25th). General Admission includes craft cocktail samples from each bar/restaurant; complimentary ceviche by Beach Bar Restaurant, Mexican bites by Numex, & Noble Crust's F.G.B.L.T; & voting in each category of the HighBall competition.

VIP tickets are $55 in advance (now through January 24th) and $80 door (January 25th). VIP Admission includes early entry for an extra hour of sampling without the crowds from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. brought to you by Mini Doughnut Factory; craft cocktail samples from each bar/restaurant; complimentary ceviche by Beach Bar Restaurant, Mexican bites by Numex, & Noble Crust's F.G.B.L.T; a private upstairs VIP area featuring perks like mini doughnuts by Mini Doughnut Factory, cheese and charcuterie by Brooklyn South, sushi by Asie Pan-Asian, VIP-only bathrooms, & a private balcony; & voting in each category of the HighBall competition.

Creative Loafing, once again, has teamed up with Lyft to get attendees to and from HighBall 2018 safely. First-time Lyft users get their first ride free up to $10 by downloading the app, creating an account, and entering the code CLTAMPA in the 'Payment' section.

Attendees are encouraged to stay in-the-know on all event details by RSVPing to the Facebook event here:

Special thanks to HighBall 2018 sponsors and partners Nova 535, Mini Doughnut Factory, Kozuba & Sons Distillery, St. Pete Distillery, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Copper Bottom Craft Distillery, Cabrera Law Group,, Roundhouse Creative, Lyft, and UNATION.

For more information on HighBall 2018, including information on purchasing tickets and participating in and sponsoring this event, visit Please use the following hashtag for all digital promotions: #CLHighBall

About Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing is an award-winning alternative, weekly newspaper and website committed to providing Tampa Bay with an independent perspective, up-to-the-minute local news, and a comprehensive listing of local happenings. Creative Loafing offers readers' unique monthly events and CL Deals, a locally focused platform featuring dining and event experiences at half-off their regular price. For more information about Creative Loafing, visit and

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