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I got 99 Problems but a drink ain't one!

Eat, drink and be merry! That is just what we did at the Highball Cocktail Competition at NOVA 535. What a fun event!

HighBall showcased craft cocktails created by Tampa Bay's top mixologists with either whisky, vodka, gin, or rum and competed to win the title of Tampa Bay’s Best Cocktail!

There was also a 24-foot cheese + charcuterie spread provided by SaltBlock Hospitality. Delicious bites by Godfrey Hotel & Cabanas Tampa & the Little Donut House. Plus an amazing saxophone player!

I have to share the amazing line up of cocktails!



“The Red Dress”

Cotherman Distilling Co.'s Half Mine Gin, Martini & Rossi's Bitter, lemon, cucumber, strawberry, + basil

Jannus Live | Matthew Camacho

“The Stage Dive”

Cotherman Distilling Co.'s Half Mine Gin, orange hibiscus liqueur, Earl Grey tea, fresh lemon, + garnished with edible hibiscus flower

Park & Rec | Terrance Devon

“Bowser's Batch”

Cotherman Distilling Co.'s Half Mine Gin + it's a surprise

The Living Room | Chris Artrip

“The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is Kaffir Itself”

Cotherman Distilling Co.'s Half Mine Gin, kaffir lime coriander syrup, + mango sumac foam

The Rez | Lorenzo Cardei


Cotherman Distilling Co.'s Half Mine Gin, cucumber vodka, elderflower liqueur, sparkling wine, pear nectar, lemon juice, + basil


Buya Ramen | Ryan Pines

“Zu Hi”

FishHawk Spirits Resurgence Silver Rum, Giffard Pamplemousse Liqueur, yuzu juice, infused cinnamon bitters, + shiso leaf soda water

Haven | Erin Green

“2001 Space Odyssey”

FishHawk Spirits Resurgence Silver Rum, Singani 63, Giffard Créme de Cacao, + lime

Iberian Rooster | Sean Shannon

“Rainbow Unicorn Magic”

FishHawk Spirits Resurgence Silver Rum, orgeat, lemon juice, agave, + garnished with a rum-infused blueberry kiwi mango popsicle

L Bar | Lorenzo Cardei

“Chiki Tiki”

FishHawk Spirits Resurgence Silver Rum, spiced + toasted coconut rum, falernum, fruit caviar, guava nectar, + pineapple juice

No Vacancy | Laura Moore

“The Tax Return (because it might be the only one you get this year)”

FishHawk Spirits Resurgence Silver Rum, pistachio orgeat, curried pineapple ginger juice, lime, + black peppercorn shrub


“Blueberry Fizz”

Tito's Handmade Vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, muddled blueberries, a dash of rhubarb bitters, + blue rose kombucha

Sea Sea Riders | Emine Tzekas

“Field Of Dreams”

Tito's Handmade Vodka, lemon, vanilla, sugar, poppyseed whip, + CBD

The Avenue | Madison Colmorgen

“Violet Intrigue”

Tito's Handmade Vodka, agave, lemon juice, cilantro, cucumber, topped with champagne, + garnished with violet + cucumber garnish

The Landing | Corie LaGrande

“Flamingo Mule”

Tito's Handmade Vodka, fresh lime juice, cream of coconut, cherry juice, ginger beer, + coconut-infused soda water

The Rez | Lorenzo Cardei

“Nacho Libre”

Tito's Handmade Vodka, mezcal, prickly pear purée, housemade sour mix, + Maldon Salt


Bar at Armature Works | Solomon Sohn

“A Cat Named Joe”

Balcones True Blue 100 Whiskey, blackberries, chipotle peppers, pink + black peppercorn, fresh lemon juice, + Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino

Brew Bus Brewing | Chris Alexander

“Passion Of The Heights”

Balcones True Blue 100 Whiskey, citrus punch (fresh squeezed pink grapefruit + lemon juice with passion fruit nectar), + agave infused with rose hips, hibiscus petals, cinnamon, orange peel, + passion fruit

Crafty Squirrel | Anthony Worms

“Smoking Squirrel Smoked Old Fashion”

Balcones True Blue 100 Whiskey, Ilegal Mezcal, sweet vermouth, smoked bitters, simple syrup, orange, + cherry

"Matcha Average Cup of Tea"

Balcones True Blue 100 Whiskey, matcha green tea, coconut milk, passionfruit, agave, + matcha dusted dehydrated fruit

The Bricks | Caroline Lease

“False Winter”

Balcones True Blue 100 Whiskey, Aperol, fresh peach-ginger purée, fresh lemon juice, housemade lavender bitters, + seltzer water

Now for the overall winners!

Best Overall:

Best Gin:

Best Rum:

Best Vodka:

Best Whiskey:

All of the drinks were delicious and it was hard to pick a favorite! If you missed this event don't worry you will always have next year! Until then see some of the recipes above and you can try and recreate this amazing cocktails. Cheers my friends.


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