Negroni Week Kick Off Party at Mesa Restaurant Gives Bartenders and Drinkers Both Big Wins

Enjoying their Negronis. Photo by Ed Simon for The Los Angeles Beat.

Mesa Restaurant in Costa Mesa was the site of last night’s Negroni Week Kick-off Party in Orange County. The event, whose purpose was to celebrate the classic Negroni cocktail and also to provide charitable donations for Inspire Artistic Minds, was a great success. It was also a tremendous success for Corbin Brown, bartender at Little Sparrow in Santa Ana, who won the people’s choice for the best Negroni with his Sandy’s Peach, a delicious cocktail topped off with a spiced, dried peach. Corbin will be heading to Tales of the Cocktail 2015, the world’s premier cocktail event that is held annually in New Orleans.

Several other restaurants such as Broadway by Amar Santana, 320 Main, the Sky Room, Social and several more participated in the competition, but the real winners were those who got to drink different Negronis made by some of Orange County’s hottest bartenders. Delicious chili and hot dogs were provided by Chef Niki Starr who made a competition-worthy chili for the guests. Chef Niki has won numerous acclaim for her creative, tasty and yet accessible comfort foods and small plates specials.

Inspire Artistic Minds is an organization that is dedicated to bettering the artistic and culinary education of those in the bar industry, by providing grants for such endeavors as cicerone (beer) and sommelier (wine) courses, mixology and bartending events such as Portland Cocktail Week and many others that will help better not only the lives of the bar professionals but also enhance the experience of any patrons who enjoy drinking.

Photo Essay after the jump


Inspire Artistic Minds website

Mesa Restaurant Website

Little Sparrow Website


Ed Simon

About Ed Simon

Ed is a native of Los Angeles who loves food and food cultures. Whether he's looking for the best ceviche in Colombia, the best poke in Hawaii, the best tequila in Jalisco, the best Bun bo Hue in Vietnam or the best Taiwanese Beef Roll in Los Angeles, it's all good food! He also loves a good drink. He's had Mai Tais in Hawaii, Bourbon in Kentucky, Tequila in Mexico and Rum in Jamaica. His wine escapades have taken him to Napa, Sonoma, the Willamette Valley and the Santa Ynez Valley. And he's had beer all over the world! Music is another of Ed's passion, writing and interviewing many classic rock, rock and blues musicians. Getting the great stories of road experiences from them is a particular delight. Traveling also fits in with Ed's writing, exploring all over to find the most interesting places to visit, even in out of the way areas.
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