WICKER PARK— Lori Haarman and Tom Kleiner spent a month planning a cocktail that they hope will clinch the top spot for the second year in a row at the Wicker Park/Bucktown Mixologist Mash-Up.
"We changed things up a bit from last year," said Haarman. "We bought everything locally from local neighborhood stores."
Aside from the origins of their ingredients, Haarman and Kleiner were tight-lipped about the cocktail they'll debut at Thursday night's event.
Kleiner said last year's winning cocktail, dubbed the "Six Corners Fizz" after the neighborhood's popular three-way intersection of Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues, was more focused on the history of the neighborhood.
"I did a lot of research to try to figure out how to connect the different cultures and aspects and history to the drink itself," said Kleiner.
Kleiner said the drink's vodka base represented the neighborhood's Polish immigrants, while passion fruit, a fruit indigenous to South American regions, tied in the Hispanic culture. A bit of bubbly prosecco brought in Club Lucky's Italian roots, and tiny gelatin "pearls," made from orange blossom and violet liquor, represented the Bucktown garden walk.
Club Lucky's mixologist team will compete against nine other mixologist teams from Wicker Park and Bucktown locales.
The Mixologist Mash-Up is 6-9 p.m.. Thursday and limited to patrons 21 and older. Tickets are $40 online or $50 at the door.