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San Antonio's best bartenders shake things up at premier River Walk party

San Antonio's best bartenders shake it up at premier River Walk party

Rivertini returns March 23. San Antonio River Foundation/Facebook

Bartenders from some of the city's most popular bars and restaurants will be showcasing their skills on Thursday, March 23, to help raise funds for the San Antonio River Foundation. The foundation presents its ninth annual Rivertini, a premier cocktail competition, at the Wyndham Garden hotel

Attendees will enjoy craft cocktails made onsite at the hotel's River Walk patio. Bartenders from several local venues, such as Esquire Tavern, George's Keep, Haunt, Ocho, V Bar, and Zocca, will lend their talents to the event, described as a bartender-focused competition.

Choosing from gin or tequila, each bartender will create a unique drink inspired by the river. "Not just the river itself, but the arts, the culture, the people — anything that makes it a special, remarkable water feature we know that it is," said Kelley Phillips, digital media manager for the foundation, at a press conference.

The cocktails will be judged by a panel of local celebrities and industry judges. The industry judges include members of the United States Bartenders' Guild (Houston Eaves, Christopher Ware, Stephan Mendez, Michael Rogers, and Jaret Pena), as well as Blair Johnson of William Grant and Sons Distillers, chef Geronimo Lopez of Botika, chef Nelson Millan of the San Antonio Country Club, and Samantha Burgess of the Culinary Institute of America.

The People's Choice Cocktail will be determined by Rivertini guests. 

The event begins with VIP entry at 5 pm, with general admission at 6-8:30 pm. General admission is $75; VIP tickets are $125. VIP admission includes a free river barge shuttle to and from the Pearl. VIPs will also be treated to an extra cocktail from Grayze on Grayson, last year's Rivertini winner, and food from Hawx Burger Bar.

All guests are invited to enter the Lucky Duck drawing. For $20, you can buy a "duckie" that will be put into a pool at the hotel. Duckies will be plucked from the pool, and each selected duckie carries a prize; a total of $11,500 in prizes will be offered. 

All proceeds benefit the river foundation, the nonprofit partner to the San Antonio River Authority. The foundation invests in and manages public projects that residents and tourists get to enjoy all along the river, from the Museum Reach to the Mission Reach. Visit the Rivertini site for more event information.