The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2013

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Page 96 of 152

Cocktails for Charity WE TEAM UP WITH COVENANT HOUSE CALIFORNIA TO PIT TEN OF LOS ANGELES'S BEST MIXOLOGISTS AGAINST ONE ANOTHER by Breanne DeMore/ photos by Susan Sabo W hen THE TASTING PANEL was asked to be the trade media sponsor of a cocktail competition to benefit Covenant House California (CHC), we simply couldn't say no. "We save young lives 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, providing homeless youth ages 18 to 24 with hope and opportunities to turn their lives around," explains Melanie Merians, Chief Development & Communications Officer for CHC. "[We offer] food, clothing, shelter, medical and mental health serves, education and employment skills programs—everything a young person needs to stabilize his or her life and become self-sufficient. No one is turned away." Drawn by such an incredible cause, ten of Los Angeles's brightest young mixologists came out to Culver City on October 3 and showed off their cocktail cleverness. The first round allowed the bartenders to come prepared with all of the ingredients they would need to prepare a cocktail including the spirit of their sponsor. Then, ten contestants were whittled down to three for the second round, where a secret ingredient (pears) was revealed. Read on for spotlights on our ten mixin' masters and their brands—and look for more information on the top three (and find out the winner!) in our January issue. Our masterful mixologists from left to right: Cole Apodaca, Chris Gonzalez, Edwin Cruz, Christine England, Amanda Gunderson, Chris Amirault, Aaron Melendrez, William Perbellini, Jeremy Lake and Curtis Harrier. Two of our esteemed—and beautiful!— judges, Georgia Hardstark and Alie Ward. Such Classy Ladies! 96  /  the tasting panel  /  december 2013 TP1213_064-103.indd 96 11/23/13 8:35 PM

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