It’s a bird, it’s a plane . . . it’s Speed Rack! A timed-skills competition like no other, Speed Rack began almost a decade ago when Lynnette Marrero and Ivy Mix devised a multi-round, traveling tournament that was part performance by the world’s leading female bartenders, part pep rally aimed at shaking up what was mainly thought of as a male-led industry, and part fund-raiser to support several breast cancer organizations. And it’s been blazing those same trails ever since with donations totaling up to a million dollars to date!
To be crowned Miss Speed Rack, one must operate faster than a speeding bullet with an eye for precision and a repertoire of dozens of classic cocktails. The action unfolds as the crowd chants, the music pulses, and the clock ticks away, and just when the pressure ratchets up to its most extreme levels, participants emerge from a tornado of ice and glassware with a range of exceptionally crafted drinks for the judges to assess.
The champions in charge of the cocktails for our next box came up with their recipes under more relaxed conditions, but the drinks, and the bartenders themselves, are nonetheless exceptional in every way. It turns out, these Girls Just Wanna Have Bourbon and contribute to a cause while doing so. And while Speed Rack is suspended this year to limit the spread of COVID-19, you can still tap into the audacious and celebratory spirit of this esteemed competition along with us! Subscribe now through May 8 to get this box—it’ll begin to ship earlier that week (with a potential split second wave of shipping the week of May 11th, owing to the unpredictable conditions of the pandemic).
When there’s no sun up in the sky and it feels like it’s raining all the time, call up your nearest and dearest and make a toast to what matters most in life. The stormy weather won’t last forever, especially when you have this quietly complex drink sparkling away nearby. Mony Bunni’s “Baba, Let Me Tell You One Thing . . . ” starts with a deeply flavored base of bourbon, lemon, tea, cardamom, and bitters and tops it off with the sharp and subtle spice of ginger beer. This is bourbon at its bubbliest, making for a perfect bridge over Dark and Stormy–reminiscent waters into brighter days ahead!
First-generation Arab American and Chicago-native Mony was the Season 6 national champion of Speed Rack. She is currently the beverage development specialist at Tenzing Wine and Spirits and is a co-founder of Support Staff, a nonprofit focused on improving the mental health of Chicago’s hospitality community.
She’s chosen to donate her proceeds from this box to SHARE, a national nonprofit that supports, educates, and empowers women affected by breast, ovarian, or metastatic breast cancer, with a special focus on medically underserved communities.
Alex Jump’s Living Proof leads the way to an enchanting realm on the rocks, in which explosive strawberry flavor blends with smooth, nutty pumpkin seed butter for an experience that summons a childhood classic—PB&J! This bourbon-based cocktail is cooling and lively with a light, frothy texture—it’s a nostalgic, memory-hopping ride to far out yet familiar delights.
Alex has competed in multiple national competitions including Lustau Solera Standout, Heaven Hill Bartender of the Year, Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender, and Speed Rack, at which she won the southwest regional title in 2017. In early 2018, she joined the opening team at Death & Co Denver as head bartender.
She’s chosen to donate her proceeds from this box to the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program (BEAP), which provides assistance to qualified bartenders, bar backs, and bar servers in need as a result of catastrophic event or emergency hardship. BEAP is currently raising funds to bolster the program for the influx of applications they are receiving as a result of nationwide bar closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Don’t let Mother’s Day sneak by without doing your part to make sure this satisfying and decadent cocktail is in the hands of those you’ll be honoring. In Haley Traub’s Matriarch Martini, bourbon brings its swagger to two influential treats that typically play host to different liqueurs or spirits—black forest desserts and the espresso martini. Have a taste and see how the buzz of espresso and notes of cherry and vanilla harmoniously match up with the rich and oaky bourbon backbone for a delight that (not) only a mother could love.
Haley has been bartending in NYC for nearly a decade and is currently the general manager at Attaboy, a cocktail bar on the Lower East Side. In 2018 she won the Speed Rack national title.
She’s chosen to donate her proceeds from this box to the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, which provides assistance to low-income people battling breast cancer to cover basic needs, lessen financial burdens, and improve quality of life.
For some behind-the-scenes tidbits from Haley on her work, competing in Speed Rack, and the inspiration behind her cocktail, check out our interview!
The countdown is on, and we’re waving signs and cheering you on to smash that “Sign Up” button before it’s too late. While this won’t lead you to be crowned Miss Speed Rack, you’ll be happily on your way to enjoying the three triumphant cocktails from our Girls Just Wanna Have Bourbon Box!
The Shaker & Spoon Team
*not vegan: nothing