Kevin Chisam from Chianina Steak House's Kabul Sunset. Photo by Brian Addison.
Yes, Long Beach has a growing cocktail scene, but a lot of the time it’s difficult to place who’s who and who makes what within such a “little big” city teeming with dive bars, high-end establishments and inconspicuous watering holes, where plenty of well-trained and creative bartenders work behind the scenes to bring great tastes to their guests.
So how can Long Beach locals and out-of-towners get a feel for the entire scene as a whole?
Save the date for the Long Beach Cocktail Festival, where a “whole lotta shaking” of innovative flavor combinations, fresh ingredients and quality spirits will be taking place to please any palate, discerning or not. Attendees will have the chance to taste dozens of recipes made by the city’s best bartenders who will convene in one place for this inaugural outdoor celebration on Saturday, June 13: Roxanne’s Cocktail Lounge & Latin Grill in California Heights.
Robert Molina of Long Beach Cocktails and owner of Roxanne’s and its speakeasy-style counterpart, The Exhibition Room, has been trying for some time now to put the city on the map for its burgeoning number of craft cocktail makers, connoisseurs and most importantly, its consumers. He spearheaded the organization of the city’s first Bartenders Cabinet, which met for the first time in March. He hopes to continue his work to bolster Long Beach's reputation for a great place to drink.
“We are excited to host this event, which is a first for the Long Beach cocktail scene," said Molina in a statement. "We will show Southern California that Long Beach is a contender in the craft cocktail renaissance."
According to the Long Beach Cocktails website, the group “seeks to highlight the city’s hidden gems to locals and cocktail aficionados” and to “appeal to a growing population of consumers who are particular about the brand of spirits they drink.”
With a total of 16 participating bars from all over Long Beach, including The Stave, The Attic, The Stache, Alex’s Bar, Chianina and BO-beau kitchen + roof tap, guests will have the opportunity to judge who makes the best drink. Each bartender will make two signature cocktails for all participating enthusiasts to try.
The Long Beach Cocktail Festival will take place from 1:00PM to 5:00PM and will also feature several gourmet food trucks to balance out the predictably copious amounts of liquor to be had. Remember to bring a designated driver or consider your Uber or Taxi options for traveling home. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time by clicking here.
Roxanne’s is located at 1115 E. Wardlow Road.