As the 36th Annual Newport Winter Festival approaches, cocktail enthusiasts are gearing up for a series of thrilling events that promise to entice taste buds and ignite the spirit of competition.

Hosted by Newport Live Events, this year's festival features three distinct cocktail events, each showcasing the creativity and skill of local bartenders while celebrating the art of mixology.

Three separate events, three different spirits, one grand old time.

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Margarita Madness Competition: February 18th

Kicking off the festivities on February 18 is the highly anticipated Margarita Madness Competition. Held at the Irish American Athletic Club on Thames Street in Newport, this event, sponsored by La Vida Buena Tequila, promises an evening of zesty flavors and fierce competition. General admission tickets are available for $10, granting attendees the opportunity to sample innovative margarita creations from 6 to 9 p.m. For those seeking a VIP experience, $25 tickets offer full-size cocktails and exclusive raffle prizes courtesy of La Vida Buena.

Presidents Day Cocktail Party: February 19

Continuing the celebration on February 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. is the President's Day Cocktail Party at The Gardiner House. Sponsored by Papas Pilar Rum and Litchfield Distillery, this soirée pays homage to the libations enjoyed by past presidents during their visits to Newport. From classic concoctions favored by George Washington to the timeless elegance of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, guests will savor four full-size cocktails properly prepared by Newport Live Events Coordinator John Begin. Tickets for this historical journey through presidential libations are available for $50.

Espresso Martini Challenge: February 25th

Rounding out the festival on February 25 is the Espresso Martini Challenge at The Gardiner House. Sponsored by Litchfield Distillery, this event promises an invigorating blend of coffee and spirits as bartenders compete to craft the perfect espresso martini. General admission tickets, priced at $25, grant access to an afternoon of sampling from 1 p.m. onward. For those craving a VIP experience, $35 tickets offer full-size cocktails and exclusive raffle prizes from Litchfield Distillery.

At each event, attendees can vote for their favorite cocktail, with crowd opinions accounting for 25% of the total score. A panel of industry professionals will also judge the bartenders' creations, ensuring a fair and competitive environment for all participants.

Don't miss your chance to indulge in the finest libations Newport has at the 36th Annual Newport Winter Festival. Whether you're a margarita connoisseur, a presidential history buff or a fan of espresso martinis, it seems there's something for everyone at this year's cocktail extravaganza.

Cheers to a winter filled with flavor, creativity and community spirit.

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