May Mix Off Competition

A stately glass structure rising above LA Live, the JW Marriott watches over all the hottest events downtown. The JW, if I may deign to be so familiar, is home to many world class dining establishments, including Wolfgang Puck’s WP24 & Nest, Ford’s Filing Station and The Mixing Room – which will once again be hosting the 3rd annual May Mix Off every Wednesday in May – pitting skilled bartenders against one another in a mixology match judged on innovation & taste.

If you have never attended the May Mix Off, it is quite a scene to behold. Befitting mixology superstars, the contenders faces flash above you on the flat screens, complete with stats, so you can plan your bartender fantasy league, trash talk, or just get a sense of what each bartender is bringing to the table.

Each bartender competes in 3 timed rounds, narrowing down the field to the final elimination where 2 winners will compete in the FINALS – playing to win a coveted trip to Tales of the Cocktail, the premiere cocktail festival held in New Orleans annually.

All the rounds will feature spirits from the William Grant & Sons portfolio, which is home to many of my favorite spirits: Ancho Reyes, Hudson American whiskies, Lillet, and the Art in the Age line of organic spirits. This is in addition to some of their most well known brands: Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Hendrick’s, and Sailor Jerry.

While you cheer for LA’s top bartenders, you can enjoy some bites & cocktails ($14) from The Mixing Room’s menu, which will showcase spirits from the competition. I was recently there sipping on their specialty cocktail of the month and noshing on brisket taquitos (what?!) and mushroom flatbread (yum).

Everyone can participate in the festivities, as bartenders will not only be judged on taste, performance, & presentation by the judges, but also on the crowds cheers or jeers. Bonus: you can see if your taste buds line up with the judges; Guests can form their own opinions with smaller samples of the competing cocktails that will be available to taste.

The bartenders who make it through the first two rounds will compete in the finals on Wed May 27. I will be there on the judges panel so come taste the final cocktails (including the winning ones from the previous weeks) and judge for yourself.


Wednesday, May 6, 7-9 p.m. – Meet the Mixologists event

Wednesday, May 13, 7-9 p.m. – Week One Competition

  • Round 1: Sailor Jerry Rum / Tullamore DEW Whiskey
  • Round 2: Mystery Spirit

Wednesday, May 20, 7-9 p.m. – Week Two Competition

  • Round 1: Hendrick’s Gin / Reyka Vodka
  • Round 2: Mystery Spirit

Wednesday, May 27, 7-9 p.m. – Week Three Competition / Final Round

  • Round 1: Previous weeks’ winning cocktails
  • Round 2: Mystery Spirit


The Mixing Room
Located on the lobby level of the JW Marriott Los Angles at L.A. LIVE