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SIP LIKE A LOCAL

    About Set the Bar

    Cocktail Week

    Set the Bar Cocktail Week encourages participants to “sip like a local” during the region’s most spirited event with featured drinks, special offers, and food and beverage pairings available from Sarasota-Manatee Originals Member Restaurants! Set the Bar Cocktail Week is a chance for locals and visitors to experience the flavors of the Suncoast from Friday, October 8 - Friday, October 15, 2021.

    The Blend: Cocktail Edition

    On Tuesday, October 12, 2021 the Sarasota-Manatee Originals will host the October edition of The Blend which will take place in Downtown Sarasota during Set the Bar Cocktail Week! Guests will sip and stroll between restaurants, while enjoying a unique dish carefully paired with a craft cocktail reflecting the flavor of each local establishment. The Chef will guide you through the tasting experience before venturing to the next location. Tickets will be $125 per person and will be available to purchase soon!

    Set the Bar Cocktail Competition - SOLD OUT

    Set the Bar Cocktail Week will culminate in the annual Cocktail Competition on Friday, October 15, 2021 from 6:30 - 9:30PM at Ed Smith Stadium. Each year, the Sarasota-Manatee Originals bring together the area’s best bartenders, distillers and spirits professionals for the “Set The Bar” Cocktail Competition.

    Designed to showcase the creative beverage talents behind the area’s locally-owned, independent restaurants, this year’s 5th annual Set The Bar will highlight accomplished mixologists representing establishments from the northern tip of Anna Maria Island to the southern shores of Venice Beach. “The Best” libations will be decided by an expert panel as well as event attendees who will be tasked with sampling and savoring each creation. In addition to exclusive access to the most skilled beverage innovators in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, guests at Set The Bar will enjoy live entertainment, a chance drawing, and delicious dishes presented by fellow Sarasota-Manatee Originals’ member restaurants.

    Planning a social celebration amid rising Covid-19 concerns and infections due to the delta variant is not without care and concern. The health and safety of guests is of paramount importance to The Sarasota-Manatee Originals and extra precautions will be taken in accordance with CDC guidelines. The event is in an open-air space and masks are requested where social distancing is not possible. All vendors and volunteers will be masked during the entire evening.

    The Sarasota-Manatee Originals are proud to partner with Embracing Our Differences to host Set the Bar. Event proceeds benefit Embracing Our Differences, whose mission is to use the power of art and education to expand consciousness and open the heart to celebrate the diversity of the human family.

    Set the Bar Cocktail Competition Tickets - SOLD OUT

    Tickets Sold Out!

    The Early Bird gets the cocktail! The first 100 Set The Bar tickets will be on sale August 8, 2021 at 7PM for $50 each! Be one of the first to purchase your ticket (with a discount) and you’ll also receive a souvenir “set the bar” cocktail glass! These special tickets won’t last long – once they sell out tickets increase to $60 each.

    This event is 21 and up only and proof of age will be required for all ticket holders (NO exceptions, this applies to children and infants as well.)

    SQUADUP

    The Competition

    “The Best” libations will be decided by an expert panel of judges as well as event attendees who will be tasked with sampling and savoring each creative concoction before judging the competitors on Flavor, Appearance, Bartender Presentation and Imagination. You be the judge!

    Tequila Category

    Powered by Hiatus Tequila

    Judging Panel

    The Set the Bar expert panel of judges is responsible for selecting the top cocktail in each spirit category. Additional judges will be announced soon!

    Spencer Taliaferro

    Owner
    Mixology Kits

    Nikki Logan Curran

    Owner & Editor
    The Scout Guide Sarasota

    Joey Panek

    Creative Content Director
    One Eight Oh PR

    Michelle Russell

    Director of Marketing | Creative Director | Events
    Loaded Cannon Distillery

    Joshua Hojnacki

    General Manager, The Gator Club
    Co-Founder, Sarasota Whiskey Society

    Brandon Weppner

    National Brand Manager
    Hiatus Tequila

    Local Bites

    Guests at the Set The Bar Cocktail Competition will enjoy delicious dishes presented by fellow Sarasota-Manatee Originals’ member restaurants. 

    About Embracing Our Differences

    Embracing Our Differences is a non-profit organization based in Sarasota, Florida, that uses the power of art and education to expand consciousness and open the heart to celebrate the diversity of the human family. It accomplishes this through an annual, large-scale, juried art exhibition and a comprehensive series of educational initiatives, programs and resources designed for teachers and students.

    Mission: Through the transformative power of the arts, we educate and inspire to create a better world.

    Vision: A world that embraces diversity, respects differences and actively rejects hatred and prejudice.

    Set the Bar is Presented By

    Liquor Sponsors

    Beverage Partners

    Special Thanks To

    Interested in becoming a Set the Bar sponsor?  Contact Veronica at (941) 365-2800 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more about the available opportunities.

    Follow The Event

    Get social with the Sarasota-Manatee Originals and use the hashtags below to share your photos and experiences during Set the Bar!
    #SetTheBar941    #SetTheBarCocktailWeek941    #EatLikeaLocal941

    Set the Bar Cocktail Week 2021

    Set the Bar Cocktail Week encourages participants to “sip like a local” during the region’s most spirited week.

    Set the Bar Cocktail Week is a chance for locals and visitors to experience the flavors of the Suncoast from Friday, October 8 - Friday, October 15, 2021.

    Restaurants that are members of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals will be offering:

    • Featured Drinks
    • Special Offers
    • Food & Beverage Pairings
    • & More!

    Offerings will be listed below soon! Please check back for updates.

    Cocktail Week Promotions

    Are you interested specifically in Exclusive Discounts? Pairings? Specialty Cocktails? Or all of the Above? Check out the options using the links below!


    Discounts

    • Clasico Italian Chophouse - Special Discount ($10)
      • The Sunset Negroni - Oxley Gin, Campari, Aperol,Muddled Fresh Strawberry and Carpano Sweet Vermouth Served Over an Ice Block and Garnished with a Lemon Slice
    • Crow's Nest - Special Discount ($5)
      • Key West Lemonade with Absolut Citron Vodka, Lemon Sour, Cranberry Juice
    • The Oasis Cafe & Bakery - Special Discount ($5)
      • Mention "Cocktail Week" for a $5.00 Mimosas
    • Duval's - Special Discount
      • $1 off these select cocktails when guests mention “Cocktail Week." These cocktails will also be available to-go for takeout or free delivery!
      • Strawberry Fields with Gin, Aperol, Lemon, Strawberries, Egg White & Basil ($14)
      • Bacon Bourbon Old Fashioned with Evan Williams, Candied Pepper Bacon, Filthy Cherries, Orange Twist & Bitters ($12)
      • Blujito with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, Blueberry Dodka, Muddled Blueberries, Mint, Lime & Soda ($11)

    Limited Time Offerings

    • Crow's Nest - Specialty Cocktail ($14)
      • Spicy Cucumber Cilantro Margarita with Reposado Tequila, Muddled Cilantro, Jalapeños and Cucumber, Fresh Lime Sour, Agave Nectar and Salt Rim, Served Over Ice
    • Café Gabbiano - Specialty Cocktail ($10)
      • Bourbon Dolce with Treaty Oak Day Drinker Bourbon Whiskey, Local Orange Octopus "Bourbon Barrel" Ice Cream, Finished with Espresso and Praline Liqueur
    • Michael's On East - Specialty Cocktail ($15)
      • The Indigo Empress - Empress Gin, Aperol, Lemon Juice, Rosemary Simple Syrup, Amaro Nonino & Egg White
    • Paradise Grill - Specialty Cocktail ($8)
      • Apple Cider Martini - Gin, Apple Cider, Agave, Fresh Lemon

    Events

    • The Blend - Cocktail Edition - Tuesday, October 12
      • On Tuesday, October 12, 2021 the Sarasota-Manatee Originals will host the October edition of The Blend which will take place in Downtown Sarasota during Set the Bar Cocktail Week! Guests will sip and stroll between restaurants, while enjoying a unique dish carefully paired with a craft cocktail reflecting the flavor of each local establishment. The Chef will guide you through the tasting experience before venturing to the next location. Tickets will be $125 per person and will be available to purchase soon!
    • Set The Bar Cocktail Competition - Friday, October 15
      • Designed to showcase the creative beverage talents behind the area’s locally-owned, independent restaurants, this year’s 5th annual Set The Bar will highlight accomplished mixologists representing establishments from the northern tip of Anna Maria Island to the southern shores of Venice Beach. “The Best” libations will be decided by an expert panel as well as event attendees who will be tasked with sampling and savoring each creation. In addition to exclusive access to the most skilled beverage innovators in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, guests at Set The Bar will enjoy live entertainment, a chance drawing, and delicious dishes presented by fellow Sarasota-Manatee Originals’ member restaurants.

    Food & Beverage Pairings

    • Café Gabbiano - Specialty Cocktail & Dessert ($15)
      • Bourbon Dolce Cocktail paired with Cannolis with Impastata Cream with Chocolate Chips served in a Pastry Shell. Made to order.
    • Café Venice - Pairing ($10)
      • Glass of Pinot Noir paired with a Beef Slider
    • Sandbar Seafood & Spirits - Pairing ($65)
      • A bottle of Raimat Albarino paired with Chorizo & Seafood Pasta
    • Paradise Grill - Pairing ($16)
      • Apple Cider Martini paired with Chorizo and Peppers

    Tasting Flights


    Large Format Cocktails To-Go

    Cocktail Competition FAQs

    Is there an age restriction for those attending the Set the Bar Cocktail Competition event?

    Guests must be 21 and up to attend. Those under 21 will NOT be permitted entry to the event (this includes infants and children as well.) Photo identification for proof of age will be requested of ALL GUESTS upon arrival to the event. 

    How can I buy tickets?

    2021 Set the Bar Cocktail Compeition tickets will be released for sale on Sunday, August 8 at 7PM! To be notified, please subscribe here or check this page for updates. This event is 21 and up only and proof of age will be required for all ticket holders (NO exceptions, this applies to children and infants as well.)

    Is there a limit on the number of tickets I can purchase?

    No, you may purchase as many tickets as you would like! Please note, your guests will be asked to provide photo ID (to verify their age) before being admitted to the event.

    Is there a discounted ticket for those not partaking in the cocktail samplings?

    There is one ticket type available for the Set the Bar Cocktail Competition, which is the General Admission ticket for $60. No additional ticket types are avaialble.

    Do I need to bring my tickets to the Set the Bar Cocktail Competition?
    Please bring your tickets in either printed or mobile format. If you have misplaced your event tickets, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request new copies. Set the Bar guests must be 21 and up. Those under 21 will not be permitted entry to the event (this includes infants and children as well.) Photo identification will be requested of EVERY guest upon arrival to the event. 
    Will I be able to sample each of the cocktails in the competition?

    Yes! All guests will be able to sample each of the 25 cocktails submitted into the competition and will have the opportunity to vote for the "People's Choice" winner! Guests will receive a Passport Book to ensure that each cocktail is sampled only once. Each cocktail sample is 1oz in size.

    Will food be served at the event?

    Yes! Complimentary light bites will be provided by several Sarasota-Manatee Originals restaurant members, including Reyna's Taqueria, Webber's Hot Dogs, Brick's Smoked Meats and more to be announced soon!

    What is the parking situation at Ed Smith Stadium?

    We encourage all event attendees who intend to sample the cocktail offerings to use ride sharing services (such as Uber or Lyft) or travel with a designated driver! The use of ride share services will expedite the arrival experience. For those planning to drive, parking is available in Ed Smith Stadium's East Lot, at the corner of 12th Street and North Tuttle Avenue.

    What should I wear?

    The suggested attire is comfortable and casual.

    What else can I expect during the Set the Bar Cocktail Competition?
    • DJ Entertainment
    • Interactive Games
    • Photobooth
    • Raffle & Prizes
    • Light Bites
    How does the voting work?

    “The Best” libations will be decided by an expert panel of judges as well as event attendees who will be tasked with sampling and savoring each creative concoction before judging the competitors on Flavor, Appearance, Bartender Presentation and Imagination.

    Each guest will be given a faux dollar bill which you will use to vote for your favorite bartender and cocktail by "tipping" them. The top cocktails and bartenders will be announced at the end of the event!

    What is the Inclement Weather Policy?

    Set the Bar is a rain or shine event. 

    Can I purchase tickets through a third-party seller?

    To have 100% confidence in the validity of your ticket purchase, you should only purchase your tickets through the Squad Up ticket system. The validity of tickets purchased through other websites or resellers cannot be verified by The Sarasota-Manatee Originals prior to event day.

    Will there be seating at the event?

    A limited number of lounge seats will be available for guests to utilize. The event is a cocktail style, grazing event where guests will be visiting stations to sample cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. The event is handicap accessible.

    How do I stay up to date on Set the Bar announcements?

    Follow our facebook page to receive all updates and announcements!

    I have a question that wasn't answered here. Now what?

    Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any remaining event questions.

    Cocktail Week FAQs

    When is Set the Bar Cocktail Week?

    The 2021 Set the Bar Cocktail Week will take place from Friday, October 8 through Friday, October 15, 2021. The Cocktail Competition will take place on Friday, October 15, 2021.

    Which restaurants are participating in Cocktail Week?

    All participants are members of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals, a group of locally owned restaurants who share a passion for dining excellence and commitment to our community.

    Stay tuned for annoucements regarding the 2021 Set The Bar Cocktail Week. 

    Do I need a ticket to participate?

    Cocktail Week events that require tickets will be clearly indicated. If you plan to participate in Cocktail Week by visiting a restaurant and ordering their cocktail week offering, no ticket will be needed.

    Can I participate at more than one restaurant?

    YES! PLEASE DO! We encourage you to support and visit as many participating restaurants as you would like for the duration of Cocktail Week.

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    Sarasota-Manatee Originals
    1215D S Tamiami Trail
    Sarasota, FL 34239
    941-365-2800