The Tropical Shakedown cocktail competition recently captivated cocktail enthusiasts and industry professionals alike as Sonny Esponda emerged victorious for the second consecutive year. The thrilling event showcased the creativity, skill, and passion of talented mixologists as they vied for the prestigious title. In this article, we’ll delve into the highlights of the Tropical Shakedown competition, Sonny Esponda’s impressive achievement, and the excitement that unfolded throughout the event.
For its second year, the Tropical Shakedown cocktail competition took over Navy Proof bar at the Westin Hotel to host a four-way battle between Long Beach’s top bartenders.
Returning inaugural champion Sonny Esponda, Ashleigh Hehmann, Brian Fernandez, and Heather Ramirez were the four contestants chosen out of hundreds of blind submissions. All drinks featured the event’s sponsor, Don Papa Rum, and were judged on creativity, presentation, balance, highlighting Don Papa Rum and overall.
Fernandez took home the People’s Choice Award, while Esponda claimed victory again.
Hehmann bartends at Accomplice Bar and the Rhythm Room in L.A., Fernandez can be found at Roxanne’s, Ramirez has worked at local spots like Saint & Second and is the bar manager at Made by Meg, and Esponda can be found at Roxanne’s or The Bungalow.
The event was organized by the Long Beach Bartenders Guild, co-founded by Dane Olson and Tomas De Los Reyes.