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Cocktail contest to name ‘Best Bartender’ on Saturday

JOHN STALEY of El Dorado Kitchen was part of the winning team of last year's Sonoma Bar Battle.

JOHN STALEY of El Dorado Kitchen was part of the winning team of last year's Sonoma Bar Battle.

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Now in its seventh year, the Sonoma Bar Battle returns this Saturday, Oct. 12, at 6 p.m. at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building. Sonoma’s cocktail connoisseurs will face off for the title of “Sonoma’s Best Bartender,” all for the benefit of the Native Sons of the Golden West, Parlor #111 and the American Legion, Jack London Post #489.

This year El Dorado Kitchen (EDK), with John Staley and his crew, will be back to defend its title after winning last year’s content. Trying to knock them out of the top spot will be Town Square, Mary’s Pizza Shack, Meritage, Steiners Tavern, Blue Moon Saloon, Saddles Steakhouse, Hopmonk Tavern and Murphy’s Irish Pub.

The participating establishments will each bring a signature cocktail and appetizers for all of the attendees to try. They will decorate their booth and vie for votes to earn the title for “Best Booth” and “Best Fan Cocktail.”

But the main showcase takes place on stage with an Iron Bartender-type challenge.

In every round, each bartender will have 10 minutes to make a cocktail using a secret ingredient that has just been revealed to them. The winner from each heat will move to the final round.

A panel of Sonoma “celebrities” will judge the drinks, ultimately naming “Sonoma’s Best Bartender” for 2013.

For the fourth year, Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards will host its own competition within the Sonoma Bar Battle. Each bartender competing will make a new cocktail that features Gloria Ferrer’s Brut.

Lagunitas Brewing Company and Olde’ Sonoma Public House will pour beer throughout the night.

Illusions Lighting Design of Sonoma will be transforming the interior of the main auditorium, lounge and dining room with its professional lighting techniques, adding a dynamic flair to the competition floor.

The Whiskey Thieves will be back playing its highly energetic rock and blues sound. A slent auction rounds out the fundraising event.

Tickets are available in advance at Steiners, Town Square, Eraldi’s Menswear, Mary’s Pizza Shack on the Plaza and Blue Moon Saloon. Tickets are $35 in advance and can be purchased until 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11; or bought at the door for $40 (if available). This event is for age 21 and older.

All the proceeds from the event are split between the Native Sons of the Golden West and the American Legion, two volunteer groups that support many organizations in the community from youth programs to veterans organizations.

For more information, check out the website at sonomabarbattle.com or find it on Facebook.