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Annual martini competition gets ready to pour it on

January 17, 2019
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Cape Coral martini lovers can get ready to shake up some fun next weekend, as the South Cape Hospitality & Entertainment Associations gear up for a night of drinks, appetizers and good times.

SCHEA's 13th annual Best South Cape Martini Competition rolls into the town Jan. 26 from 7 to 11 p.m. as many of the district's establishments will concoct their most unique drinks and appetizers for patrons to enjoy and vote on.

"This is the longest-running trolley event in South Cape. People love taking a break from their busy lives and going out in groups to enjoy unique spins on the classic martini. Attendees love that they are the ones who decide which locations win the coveted title of serving the event's Best Martini and Best Appetizer," said Karmen Forrester, SCHEA director.

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Participants will get the opportunity to travel in special trolleys to 13 different locations, sampling each martini and appetizer as they go.

Tickets are $25 in advance, and $30 day-of.

Tickets include a pair of martini sunglasses at check-in, unlimited rides on the trolleys. a passport to all sampling locations, a voting ballot and the opportunity to win prizes on the trolleys.

You can fill up your passport with a stamp from all locations to be eligible to win a gift bucket filled with everything needed to whip up your own martinis.

Participating locations and their samplings include:

n BackStreets Sports Bar: Chocolate Covered Pretzel & calypso crunch ice cream

n Backyard Beer Garden: Da' HEF & candy bacon

n Big Blue Brewing: Double Chocolate Martini & mushroom chorizo potato frittata

n Cork Soakers: Chocolate Raz Martini & deviled eggs

n Cruisers: Watermelon Infused Martini & mini cupcakes

n Dixie Roadhouse: Peach-Pom-Tini & tropical fruit salad

n Monkey Bar: Blue Monkey Martini & cream cheese, bacon and jalapeno popper

n Rack'em Spirits & Times: Blue Breakfast Martini & espresso pancakes

n Ralph's Place: Mediterranean-tini & volcano potsticker

n Remixx Lounge: Deep Blue Sea Martini & chocolate chip cookie

n Rockade: Key Lime Pie Martini & cilantro lime dip

n Rusty's Raw Bar: Snowflake Martini & cinnamon snow caps

n Tiki Hut: Cucumber Mint Martini & bleu cheese, garlic and balsamic chips

"Once attended by just a few hundred people, the annual Best South Cape Martini Competition now hosts more than 1,000 guests, many of whom dress up and make a big night of it. The event now features an official photo booth, so people can capture great memories of the night," said Forrester.

Photos from the booth will be uploaded to Facebook, where the public can vote on their favorites, with the winning photo receiving four free tickets to the Mardi Gras Trolley Event in March.

Martini-enthusiasts will check in between 6 and 7:30 p.m. at Big John's Plaza and in front of Dixie Roadhouse to board the throw-back transit locomotive.

"Trolley events are a great way to mingle, meet new people and discover new-to-you places," added Forrester. "Cape Coral's Entertainment District - South Cape - features lots of great hotspots, including awesome eateries.

As much as SCHEA loves putting on the event, and the patrons love attending, the participating establishments also love to see who can be the most creative when it comes to their mixology and kitchen skills.

"Everyone wants the big 'Best Martini' and 'Best Appetizer" banners hanging outside their establishments. So the competition gets pretty fierce," Forrester said.

A limited number of physical tickets are available at BackStreets Sports Bar, Big Blue Brewing, Cruisers, Monkey Bar and Rusty's.

Designated driver tickets are available at a discounted rate, only at BackStreets Sports Bar.

For more information on SCHEA, ticketing and upcoming events, visit

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj



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