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Walnut Creek Magazine

It’s Official: Benvenuti Wins Visit Walnut Creek’s Signature Cocktail Competition

Jul 09, 2021 12:23PM ● By Cale Finta

This past Wednesday, seven of Walnut Creek’s top bartenders competed in the city’s first cocktail competition—in recent memory anyway—to create The Calipolitan: a mix reflecting the city’s laid back California lifestyle with a cosmopolitan flair.

Guiseppe Alagna from Benvenuti Ristorante was crowned the winner by a panel of judges for his creative blend of vodka, rosemary syrup, lemon juice, Napa Lofi Genatian Wine Amaro, orange blossom water, and bitters. `Guissepe, who runs the cocktail program at his family’s Italian restaurant on Broadway, says he was inspired by “the beauty of California. From the northern redwood forests (rosemary) to the southern farmlands (orange blossoms) to all the wine in between (Wine Amaro)."

In recent months, the Walnut Creek Visitors Bureau took a long, hard look in the mirror and hit the pedal, deciding it was time for a new brand, new slogan, and new website. To bring the city’s eclectic mix to life, Visit Walnut Creek—a local tourism marketing organization that promotes the city for small meetings, conferences, and social events—challenged local mixologists to craft a signature “Calipolitan” cocktail recipe that captures city vibrant mix.The inaugural competition took place on the patio of Renaissance Bay Club where mixologists from Broderick, Walnut Creek Yacht Club, Burma 2, Retro Junkie, Chicken Pie Shop, Bay Club, and Benvenuti went head-to-head to create the winning recipe for Walnut Creek’s signature Calipolitan cocktail. Judges included Mayor Pro-Tem Matt Francois, Cupcakin Bake Shop owner Lila Owens, Walnut Creek Chamber CEO Bob Linscheid, among others.

“Creating ‘The Calipolitan’ has provided a great opportunity for local restaurants and bars to show off their skills. Personally, I hope to make this an annual event. There was so much enthusiasm, excitement at the competition. Everyone wants to bring it back next year,” said Visit Walnut Creek’s Director of Sales & Marketing Nicole Hankton.

Ready for a sip? The Calipolitan will be on the menu at Benvenuti beginning today and Nicole says to look for it soon on beverage menus all over town. Cheers!


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