Speed Rack Kansas City will have female bartenders throw down in April

Paige Unger (center with hand up) won the 2013 regional Speed Rack in St. Louis.

Paige Unger (center with hand up) won the 2013 regional Speed Rack in St. Louis.

Hold on to your highballs, Speed Rack is coming to Kansas City. The mixology competition that doubles as a benefit for breast cancer charities (SHARE Cancer Support, the National Breast Cancer Center Foundation, Susan G. Love and The Helen David Foundation, among others) is holding a regional competition on stage at the Madrid Theater (3810 Main Street) on Sunday, April 6, at 3 p.m.

“It’s a very visible competition for our industry and to host one here is huge,” says Manifesto’s Ryan Maybee, who alongside Doug Frost will be one of the four judges for the local contest. “It’s a reason for people on a national level to recognize Kansas City.”

Speed Rack contestants prepare drinks in a series of timed heats. The baseline is how quickly several classic cocktails are made. Time penalties are then added for flaws in those cocktails. The contestant with the lowest time total advances. The first portion of the competition is a qualifying round to determine who advances to the head-to-head rounds.

“It’s intense and wild and very-fast paced. You’ll see someone stirring two or three drinks with one hand,” Maybee says.

The contestants will be 21 female mixologists from seven states. Port Fonda’s Caitlin Corcoran, The Chesterfield’s Rachel Erin Freeman, The Farmhouse’s Margot Anna Thompson, The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange’s Jenn Tosatto, Manifesto’s Katy Wade and Extra Virgin’s Paige Rinne Unger (who won the St. Louis Speed Rack regional in 2013) will represent the Kansas City area. The winner will receive a $500 honorarium and move on to compete at the National Finals against the regional victors from San Francisco, San Diego and Chicago. The finals will be held on May 8 in New York City.

“This is a competition that shows just how much skill goes into the craft of bartending,” Maybee says. “And it’s highly entertaining.”

Speed Rack tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

[Image via Facebook: Speed Rack]

Jonathan Bender

Jonathan Bender is the founder of The Recommended Daily.