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