Creative Loafing's HighBall Craft Cocktail Competition 2018

Who makes the best cocktail in Tampa Bay?

YOU decided at our 2nd annual cocktail competition, HighBall 2018!

That's right, Loafers—your favorite craft cocktail competition was back!

Featuring notable spirits, bartenders, and more, HighBall will showcased craft cocktails created by Tampa Bay's top mixologists with either whisky, vodka, gin, or rum as they competed to win the title of ‘Tampa Bay’s Best Cocktail’ at HighBall. 

Attendees sampled their way around unlimited craft cocktails as they sipped their way to finding the best!

HighBall Craft Cocktail Competition

January 25th, 2018 | Nova 535
535 Dr. M.L.K. Jr. St. N. in St. Pete 
VIP: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. | GA: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.


The Living Room on Main | “Sapona” by Ryan Cathey

Park & Rec | “Kiui” by Terrance Devon

Lantern Lane Lounge @ The Birchwood | “Sunny Side” by Tommy Alvarez

Mise en Place | “Terra Ceia” by Lauren Klemm

Iberian Rooster | “Sin & Cider” by Klaus Göpfert


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.

Attendees RSVPed to the Facebook event to stay in-the-know.


Early Bird: $25 (Through December 15th)
Advance: $30 (December 16th - January 24th)
Door: $40 (January 25th)

General Admission included craft cocktail samples from each bar/restaurant; complimentary ceviche by Beach Bar Restaurant, New Mexican bites by Numex, & Noble Crust's F.G.B.L.T; & voting in each category of the HighBall competition.

Early Bird: $50 (Through December 15th)
Advance: $55 (December 16th - January 24th)
Door: $80 (January 25th)

VIP Admission included 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, New 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.

We teamed up with Lyft to get attendees to and from HighBall safely! First-time Lyft users got their first ride FREE up to $10 by downloading the app, creating an account, and entering the code CLTAMPA in the 'Payment' section at checkout.

Check out previous years' event videos below!
Thank you to Tampa Bay video studio, Roundhouse Creative, for capturing all the fun!



21+ only. Event takes place rain or shine. No refunds are available.

For more information on this event, including participation and sponsorship information, please contact Alexis Chamberlain at [email protected] or 813.739.4879.

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