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Drink it up!



When preparing for a monthlong festival celebrating local spirits, I have one big piece of advice. That would be, of course, "Pace yourself, people!" With so many craft spirits to choose from all month long, it's easy to get your head spun around (and to piss off your designated driver with your flat rendition of the Hamilton soundtrack). Of course, I am talking about September's inaugural SLO Cocktail Month craft cocktail competition. But what's it all about? Look for flyers at your favorite eateries across the county to discover unique beverages created for the competition. Assuming you are of legal drinking age, you should consume said libation and vote for your favorite online, a la American Idol! You already know that distilleries are popping up throughout the Central Coast and offering such enticing adult beverages as cucumber vodka, 117-proof cask-strength bourbon, and coffee liqueur. Now is the time to really dive in and take a break from those tired IPAs. Whether served on fire, over a hand-chiseled ice cube, or with a candied beef jerky garnish (not even kidding), the current craft cocktail rebirth is alive and well in SLO County! No, you cannot have some of my jerky garnish, even if you can tie it in a knot with your tongue!

Winners will be announced at the Grand Cocktail Event at the Paso Robles Fairground on Saturday, Oct. 6. The event includes live music, hors d'oeuvres from participating restaurants, samples of the collaborative craft cocktails, and bartender demonstrations. Tickets and participating vendors can be found at Δ

Hayley Thomas Cain is flicking tiny umbrellas across her desk instead of writing this week's feature. She can be reached at

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