Tickets on sale for Best South Cape Martini Competition
Tickets are now on sale for the 5th annual Best South Cape Martini Competition, which will be held next month.
The Kiwanis Club of Cape Coral is hosting the annual competition that will take place in South Cape Saturday, Jan. 29.
Sam Huber, Kiwanis president, said the club choose to host the event this year as a fund-raiser for its Childhood Hunger Backpack Program because it is a great way to generate a profit.
The backpack program, which the Kiwanis Club began at the end of the school year three years ago, provides backpacks full of food for the needy students in Cape Coral schools. Although the program is primarily for elementary students, Huber said they are adding a middle school to the program after the new year.
“We have expanded it now to five schools,” Huber said.
The program currently serves more than 400 backpacks full of food — enough to fill three people for three days — every Friday, which will be doubled after the new year. Huber said they are spending well over $1,000 a week on food to provide enough for the backpacks. He explained that the club also partners with the Harry Chapin Food Bank to make the program work.
Huber said this is one of the events the Kiwanis will be hosting for their 50th anniversary because in the down economy they are stepping it up by providing close to half a million dollars in assistance this year.
The January event will allow participants to travel from one destination to another trying martinis that will be judged at the end of the night, including the Best Classic Martini, Best Exotic Martini and Best Dessert Martini. The check-in process will begin at 6:45 p.m., so participants can obtain their wristband and passport to the event to travel by trolley.
“The Best South Cape Martini event was designed to be a quality tasting event, not a drinking competition,” Helen Ramey, economic development manager of South Cape CRA said. “It’s a wonderful way to discover what the South Cape entertainment establishments have to offer — all in one evening and for only $20.”
Ramey said this year 10 South Cape restaurants and lounges are scheduled to participate. Each of those 10 will offer its best martini and appetizer.
“They sip, swirl and nosh on the delectable offerings and at the end of the evening, everyone votes on the best martinis they tried,” Ramey said.
The best martini in each category will be awarded a $500 cash prize, along with a $500 cash prize from the Kiwanis Club for the best appetizer.
JoAnne Stevens, owner of Ralph’s Place, said she wanted to get involved in the martini competition because it is a downtown event that the bars and downtown businesses could get involved in.
She won the Best Dessert Martini for her baked apple martini for the first three years and won the Best Exotic Martini with her Mystic Mango Martini last year.
Stevens enjoys the event because of the people and how they really get into the competition.
“It is really fun,” she explained, because it attracts so many people that would not normally come through her place.
Throughout the competition Stevens explained that she will have up to 800 people come through the bar because of the location of the check-in and trolley drop-off.
“It is very well put together and organized,” she said, adding that they have never had any trouble during the event.
Ramey encourages individuals to purchase their tickets in advance due to the availability of 1,000 tickets. One hundred percent of the ticket sales will go towards the backpack program.
“The event has always sold out days before the event. When the tickets are gone, they are gone,” she said.
Tickets for the competition are currently on sale for $20 and can be purchased at Leapin Lizard Bar Grille (1719 Cape Coral Parkway, E.); True Value Hardware (1407 Cape Coral Parkway, E.); Ralph’s Place Liquor Store (1305 Cape Coral Parkway, E.); Cape Dog Bakery (1207 Cape Coral Parkway, E.); The Twisted Conch (837 S.E. 47th Terrace) and Kiwanis Store South ( 708 S.E. 47th Terrace).
“We have already sold 200 tickets,” Huber said as of Thursday afternoon.
Huber said special designated driver tickets will also be available for $10 on the day of the event for groups of two or more. He explained that the tickets will allow the participant to do everything but taste the actual martini. Non-alcoholic drinks will be provided at different locations for the designated drivers.
For information, contact Huber at (239) 542-2849 or (239) 574-1560.