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.
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 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.
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!
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 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:
Offerings will be listed below soon! Please check back for updates.
Are you interested specifically in Exclusive Discounts? Pairings? Specialty Cocktails? Or all of the Above? Check out the options using the links below!
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The suggested attire is comfortable and casual.
“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!
Set the Bar is a rain or shine event.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
YES! PLEASE DO! We encourage you to support and visit as many participating restaurants as you would like for the duration of Cocktail Week.